NEW DELHI: The election to decide India’s 15th Vice President will be held on Saturday, August 5. The results will be announced the same day. The two candidates are Venkaiah Naidu and Gopalkrishna Gandhi. Here are the ten things you need to know about the election:
A)The election for the Vice President is conducted through a secret ballot. Members of the Electoral College, consisting of Members of the both Houses of Parliament including the nominated members of Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha vote in these elections. Members of Parliament are supposed to use special pens for marking their choice. Votes marked with any other pen are liable to be rejected.
1) Naidu is the BJP-led NDA’s candidate. He served as the Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Urban Development and Information and Broadcasting in the Modi Cabinet. He has also served as the BJP national president from 2002 to 2004. Earlier, Naidu was the Union Cabinet Minister for Rural Development in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee NDA government.
2) Gandhi is the Congress-led opposition candidate. He is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. As a former Indian Administrative Service officer, he served as Secretary to the President of India and as High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka, and has served in other administrative and diplomatic posts.
3) The Vice President is the ‘ex-officio’ Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha. He or she is elected for a period of five years. There is no fixed retirement age for the Vice President and he or she can technically be re-elected as the Vice President for any number of times.
4) A person is eligible for election as Vice-President if they: a) are a citizen of India; b) have completed the age of 35 years; c) are qualified for election as a member of the Council of States (Article 66). A person will not be eligible for election as Vice-President if they hold any office of profit under the Central or state government or under any local authority subject to the control of any of these governments. Once elected, the Vice President still isn’t allowed to hold such an office.
5) A candidate needs 20 electors as proposers and at least another 20 electors as seconders for their nomination. The candidate also must make a security deposit of Rs. 15,000.