New Delhi, July 18: National Democratic Alliance’s Vice Presidential candidate Venkaiah Naidu and Opposition nominee Gopal Krishna Gandhi will file their nomination on Tuesday. While Union Minister Naidu enjoys the support of Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies, former West Bengal governor Gandhi is backed by 18 opposition parties for the coveted post. A Vice President is also the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
Today is the last day for filing nomination for the Vice Presidential election. Naidu is expected to submit his resignation as the Cabinet Minister before filing for nomination at 11 AM.
Also read: How Vice Presidential is election conducted: Eligibility, voting, counting
Ahead of filing his nomination, Gandhi said, “I have accepted the invitation with a sense of gratitude and responsibility. The Opposition in India is a very large entity and 18 parties have asked me to be their vice -president candidate.” Also read: Rahul Gandhi Gets Nitish Kumar’s Support For Opposition’s Vice Presidential Candidate
The electoral college for the August 5 election consists of 790 MPs of the two Houses of Parliament. The result will also be declared on the same day. The Rajya Sabha has 245 MPs and the Lok Sabha has 545 MPs and both elected as well as nominated members are eligible to cast their vote.
Naidu clearly has an upper edge in the election as the BJP and its allies form a majority with 410 members. Considering the electoral advantage for Naidu, the vice presidential election may witness a historic mandate for the veteran BJP leader. His nomination is seen as part of the BJP’s attempts to expand its base in south India, which has been identified by Shah as a key region for growth before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
In the 2012 polls, the incumbent Vice President Dr Hamid Ansari won with a mandate of 490 votes, with BJP’s Jaswant Singh receiving the remaining 238 out of the 736 votes polled. Congress President Sonia Gandhi conceded the fact that numbers are not in favour of Gopal Krishna Gandhi. During a meeting with opposition leaders on Sunday, she said, “Numbers may be against us. But battle must be fought, and fought hard.”
Hamid Ansari term ends on August 10. He has served on the post for two consecutive terms from August 11, 2007 to August 10, 2012 and was re-elected as the 14th vice president on August 11, 2012.