Elections are held today to select India’s next Vice President, with NDA candidate Jagdeep Dhankar expected to sail through alone with BJP support. Margaret Alva of the opposition looks a very distant second.
Here are 10 updates to this great story:
The vice-presidential election will take place today from 10am to 5pm in Parliament House, with results expected later in the evening.
Jagdeep Dhankhar – best known for his role as the former governor of Bengal – can count on 527 votes, far more than the 372 needed to win. Overall, it could be 70 percent of the total votes, two percent more than M Venkaiah Naidu received.
The Electoral College has 780 MPs – 543 in Lok Sabha and 245 in Rajya Sabha. Aside from the eight vacant seats in the House of Lords and the 36 MPs from the Trinamool Congress who chose to abstain, 744 MPs are expected to vote.
The NDA has 441 MPs, including 394 from the BJP. Five nominated members also support the NDA candidate.
Mr Dhankhar also has the support of several other non-NDA parties – Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal, Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party, Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party, Akali Dal and the Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde faction. Together they have 81 MPs.
Margaret Alva can count on 26 percent of the votes (around 200). It has the support of Congress, MK Stalin’s DMK, Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party and Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party and left-wing parties.
Also supporting Ms Alva are Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Aam Aadmi Party and the nine MPs from Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray faction
In the last election, opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi received 32 percent of the vote.
On Friday, Mr Dhankhar attended a meeting with BJP MPs in Delhi where a mock vote was held.
The system of proportional representation by a single transferrable vote requires the elector to tick preferences against the names of the candidates.