Vice Presidential Election 2022: Over 93% Voting Recorded, Counting Of Votes Underway

The BJP-led NDA's candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar is pitted against joint Opposition candidate Margaret Alva. Dhankhar is set for a comfortable victory as numbers are stacked in his favour.

Jagdeep Dhankar (left) and Margaret Alva (right).

The voting to elect the next Vice President of India concluded at 5 pm on Saturday, following which the counting of votes started at 6 pm. The returning officer will announce the name of the next vice president by late Saturday evening.

Voting began at 10 am on Saturday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi being among the first ones to cast vote. Over 93 per cent turnout was recorded. Officials said of the total 780 MPs, as many as 725 MPs voted till 5 pm. Around 50 MPs did not vote. 

Notably, Trinamool Congress (TMC) had announced it would abstain from voting as it said the 17 Opposition parties had finalised Congress veteran Margaret Alva's candidature without consulations with it. Despite TMC's announcement, its MPs Sisir Kumar Adhikari and Dibyendu Adhikari defied the party line and cast their ballots.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee and former West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar (71) is pitted against joint Opposition candidate Margaret Alva (80). Dhankhar is set for a comfortable victory as numbers are stacked in his favour. Several non-NDA parties have supported him, including Biju Janata Dal, YSR Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, Telugu Desam Party, Shiromani Akali Dal, and the Eknath Shinde's faction of the Shiv Sena.

On the other hand, Alva has the support of Congress, DMK, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Nationalist Congress Party, and Samajwadi Party and the Left parties.

The electoral comprises of a total 780 MPS -- 543 in Lok Sabha and 245 in Rajya Sabha. However, there are eight vacancies in the Upper House.

Alva is likely to get around 190-200 votes, while her opponent Jagdeep Dhankhar is likely to get over 515 votes, enough for a comfortable win for him

How is a Vice President selected?

The Vice President of India is elected by an electoral college through the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote. The voting is held by secret ballot.

The electoral college in the vice presidential election comprises a total of 788 members of both Houses of Parliament. Since all the electors are members of both Houses of Parliament, the value of the vote of each MP would be the same — one, the Election Commission (EC) has said.

The term of incumbent M Venkaiah Naidu ends on August 10. The vice president is also the chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.
There is no concept of open voting in this election and showing the ballot to anyone under any circumstances in the case of presidential and vice-presidential elections is totally prohibited, the EC has cautioned, adding that parties cannot issue whips to its MPs in the matter of voting.