Jagdeep Dhankhar set for comfortable win in vice-president poll


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VP poll today; numbers stacked in favour of NDA’s Dhankhar (PTI)

NEW DELHI: With numbers stacked in his favour, NDA nominee Jagdeep Dhankhar is set for a comfortable win against joint opposition candidate Margaret Alva as MPs of both Houses vote on Saturday to elect the next vice-president of India.
The electoral college in the vice presidential poll comprises 788 members of both Houses of Parliament. Dhankhar attended the meeting of NDA MPs who were given a presentation, including a mock voting session, to ensure that no vote is invalidated. Since all electors are members of either of the two Houses, the value of the vote of each MP would be one, the EC has said.
NDA’s combined strength of MPs from both the Houses is 445 while regional parties, including YSRCP, BJD, TDP, BSP, AIADMK and Shiv Sena have also extended support to the NDA candidate, who is likely to get around 515 votes. Alva is likely to fetch around 200 votes. Outgoing VP M Venkaiah Naidu had got 516 votes in 2017.
Alva’s number will decrease, thanks to cracks in opposition unity as TMC, with 39 MPs, has decided to abstain from voting alleging lack of consultations while deciding on the nominee. She, however, received the backing of TRS on Friday, two days after AAP and JMM lent support to her. AIMIM has also extended its support to Alva.
Meanwhile, Dhankhar met a number of BJP MPs at his residence on Friday, including Sushil Kumar Modi, Gautam Gambhir, Rajyavardhan Rathore, Pradeep Choudhary and Kartikeya Sharma.
Polling will be held from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and ballots will be counted immediately after that. By late Saturday evening, the returning officer is likely to announce the name of the next VP.

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