Vice presidential election today
The Electoral College for the election of a Vice President of India convenes today three weeks after Pranab Mukherjee was elected President.
This time the Electoral College consists of the Lok Sabha (lower house) and Rajya Sabha (upper house), a total of 788 members but not the state legislatures as was the case for the president.
The ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by the Indian National Congress (INC) has put up the incumbent vice president, Hamid Ansari, to run again. He was first elected on 10th August 2007. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has put up Jaswant Singh but he is not expected to win.
Polling takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and counting begins immediately afterwards.
The vice president has few powers, he is Chairman of the Rajya Sabha of Council of States and he would replace the president in the event of the death of the president. Nevertheless in the charged political atmosphere of India every election is keenly contested and widely publicised in the media.