Allies Will Be Taught How To Vote Right Ahead Of Vice President Election, BJP Lawmaker

 

On Friday evening, a day before elections for Vice President, lawmakers from the ruling BJP and its allies will attend a workshop on how to vote. The "dummy vote" is being organised at a meeting of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), to ensure minimum invalid votes tomorrow.

Parliamentarians cast 21 invalid votes in the election for President of India last month, most of them BJP lawmakers. This despite their being briefed on the voting procedure. At today's meeting they will practise how to vote on ballot paper to get it right. At a party meeting this week, BJP chief Amit Shah had wondered how so many lawmakers could get a simple vote wrong.

Lawmakers from regional parties the AIADMK, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSR Congress will also attend today's workshop. Though these parties are not members of the NDA, they have pledged support to M Venkaiah Naidu, the government's nominee.

Mr Naidu, a former union minister, will speak to the lawmakers at today's meeting and will seek their votes. At dinner that will follow the meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join the lawmakers and will address them.

Only members of both Houses of Parliament, including nominated members, vote in the election for Vice President, unlike the Presidential election, where state legislators also vote. Lawmakers from the NDA outnumber the opposition when MPs in both houses are counted and only large-scale wrong voting can play spoiler tomorrow for Mr Naidu.
Mr Naidu faces off with former West Bengal governor, Gopal Krishna Gandhi, fielded by an opposition bloc of 18 parties. The BJP's newest ally, Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United, will keep an earlier promise to back Mr Gandhi.

The NDA is set to have a Vice-President of its choice after 10 years.

The current strength of the NDA is 337 in the Lok Sabha and 80 in the Rajya Sabha. The AIADMK, TRS and YSR Congress add another 67 MPs in both houses. Which means Mr Naidu has the support of 484 of the total 790 MPs in the two houses, apart from that of several nominated members. He needs 395 to win.

 

 

 

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