The stage is set for the vice presidential election on Saturday, with numbers in favour of ruling NDA candidate M Venkaiah Naidu who is most likely to become the second person with RSS background to occupy the second most important constitutional post.
Venkaiah Naidu is pitted against opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi in the election that will take place in Parliament House with the electoral college comprising 790 members of both the houses.
In an effective electoral college of 787 members, Naidu seems to be in a comfortable position as the NDA has a clear majority in the Lok Sabha and has support of some political parties from the south.
The Lok Sabha currently has 543 members and the Rajya Sabha 244. The Lok Sabha has two vacancies, while the Rajya Sabha has one vacancy.
NDA’s candidate M Venkaiah Naidu (516) wins Vice Presidential Elections, defeating opposition’s candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi (244).
07: 00 PM IST | Venkaiah Naidu leading Gopalkrishna Gandhi with 117 votes.
06: 20 PM IST | Abdul Wahab and PK Kunhallikutty from IUML; Anu Agha and Naba Kumar Saraniya are Independent MPs who did not vote.
06: 15 PM IST | Mausam Noor and Ranee Narah from INC; Udayan Raje Bhonsle from NCP; Ambumani Ramadoss from PMK didn’t cast their vote.
06:10 PM IST | Vijay Goel & Sanwar Lal Jat from BJP; Kunal Ghosh, Tapas Paul, Pratima Mondal and Abhishek Banerjee from TMC didn’t vote.
06: 00 PM IST | Counting for elections begins.
05: 10 PM IST | Counting for
the election to begin at 6 PM.
05: 00 PM IST| Voting for Vice Presidential Election ends. Total 771 out of 785 votes polled, 98.21% poll percentage recorded.
03: 00 PM IST | The voting saw 761 members casting their votes out of the 785 members of the electoral college till 3 PM – registering a voting percentage at 96.94%, Assistant Returning Officer Mukul Pandey told reporters at Parliament House.
01: 12 PM IST | Cricketing legend and Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar casts his vote. Speaking to the media, Sachin asserted on the need to use ones’ right to vote.
“Not only here but whenever voting takes place, every citizen should vote,” said Sachin Tendulkar.
01: 02 PM IST | NDA candidate Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu entered the RSS and within some decades, he became the BJP’s best known leader from southern India. He is well known for his witty one-liners.
Naidu was a key member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet before being pitted for the prestigious election.
Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, is an acclaimed civil servant, diplomat and governor, who is a strong votary of secular ethos, and has clear and independent views.
Gandhi, 72, had a distinguished career in the civil services before he became a diplomat and governor. Later, he turned an academic, author and columnist.
Hamid Ansari has been the Vice President and ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha since August 11, 2007. He won a second term on August 11, 2012. His current term ends on August 10.
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat was the first from RSS background to occupy the post of Vice President. He served as Vice President of India and ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha from 2002-2007.
12: 05 PM IST | Congress party president Sonia Gandhi votes in the Parliament. Voting underway
11: 30 AM IST | Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, former deputy PM Lal Krishna Advani at Parliament for the voting.
10: 43 AM IST | The Lok Sabha currently has 543 members and the Rajya Sabha 244. The Lok Sabha has two vacancies, while the Rajya Sabha has one vacancy.
According to BJP officials, apart from the NDA’s 81 Rajya Sabha members and 338 Lok Sabha members, members of both houses – of the AIADMK (50), YSR Congress (10) and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (14) will also vote in favour of Naidu.
With around support of 493 members, Naidu is all set to cross the magic figure of 394. The BJP leaders are hopeful of crossing the mark of 500.
Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi, a former West Bengal Governor and a diplomat, has support of the Congress, the Left parties, Nationalist Congress Party, DMK, Trinamool Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party and National Conference.
Janata Dal-United, which is now a part of NDA, had announced support for Gandhi and is likely to vote in his favour.
Gandhi is unlikely to cross the half-way mark
10: 43 AM IST | Voting underway for in Parliament.
10: 29 AM IST | PM Narendra Modi casts his vote, polling underway
10: 15 AM IST | Venkaiah Naidu on his way to the Parliament said that he was not contesting against anyone or against any party. ” I am contesting for Vice President of India,” he added.
Speaking further, the leader said that he was “known to all members of Parliament” that is on of the reason why he was not campaigning for the post.
He also said that a letter was written by him to everyone seeking support and received a good response.
“I have written a polite letter to everybody, the response is very good. Confident that they all will support me” he added.
10: 05 AM IST | NDA’s vice presidential candidate M Venkaiah Naidu reaches Parliament
10: 00 AM IST | Voting for the election of Vice President of India begins.
09: 58 AM IST | Speaking to the media, Naidu said that he was a non-party man and is confident of getting the majority of the votes. “Parties in India are supporting my candidature, confident that they all will vote in the election,” said Naidu.
09: 54 AM IST | NDA’s vice presidential candidate M Venkaiah Naidu is on his to the Parliament where he will cast his vote.
“Voting yet to take place, I am going to cast my vote,” said Naidu.