The dates for the election of the 13th Vice-President of India has been announced by the Election Commission (EC). The poll process to choose Hamid Ansari’s successor has been scheduled for the 5th of August, 2017. The counting of the votes will take place on the same day as the voting, i.e. 5 August.
The term of the present incumbent Hamid Ansari, is coming to an end on 10 August. He has held the office of the vice-president for two consecutive terms. It is expected that the new Vice-President will be sworn in on 11 August.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Nasim Zaidi has assured the people of India through the media that necessary steps are being taken to ensure that the elections to the office of the vice-president are free and fair.
- The formal notifications for the polls will be issued on 4 July, 2017.
- The last date for nominations has been fixed on 18 July.
- The scrutiny of the nominations will take place of 19 July.
- The last date for withdrawal of nomination is 21 July.
- If polling is required in case of scenario of a contest, it will be held on 5 August between 10am-5pm.
- 790 members of both the houses of the Parliament will be forming the electoral college including 233 members (along with 12 nominated members) in the Rajya Sabha and 543 members in the Lok Sabha (along with 2 nominated members).
- The system of proportional representation will be followed.
- Specific pens will be supplied by the EC to the electors on the day of polling.
- Shumsher K Sheriff, Secretary General of Rajya Sabha, will be the returning officer for the election.
CEC, Nasim Zaidi, said, “The vice-president is elected by the members of the electoral college consisting of members of both houses of Parliament in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote. The nominated members of Rajya Sabha as well of Lok Sabha are also eligible to be included in the electoral college.”
Eligibility to File Nomination Papers
- The candidate has to be supported by 20 electors as proposers and 20 as seconders.
- The candidate can file the nomination papers with a security deposit of 15,000 INR once the required support has been achieved.
- The EC is very particular that no political party issues a whip to the members of the Parliament to help in favour of any candidate.
The Probable Candidates
While Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu has already opted out of the race saying no one can compel him to run for the office of the vice-president of India, the following are the probable candidates for the post:
- Former Deputy Chief of the Army Staff- Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah
- Governor of Manipur- Najma Heptullah
- Former Human Resource Development minister- Murli Manohar Joshi
- Former Lieutenant Governor of Delhi- Najeeb Jung