Vice presidential election begins in India

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-05 13:37:28|Editor: Xiang Bo
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NEW DELHI, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Vice presidential election began in India Saturday.

Voting started around 10 a.m. local time and will continue till 5 p.m., following which results will be declared.

Members of both houses of Parliament -- Lok Sabha (the Lower House) and Rajya Sabha (the Upper House) are eligible to elect the vice president through secret ballots.

The contest is between India's ruling National Democratic Alliance's candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu and the united opposition's Gopal Krishna Gandhi.

While Naidu is a former Indian minister, Gandhi is a former governor of the eastern state of West Bengal and grandson of pre-independence icon Mahatma Gandhi.

Naidu is likely to win the vice presidential race as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has 281 lawmakers in the 545-member Lok Sabha. It's also the single largest party in Rajya Sabha.

The new vice president will be sworn in on Aug. 10 when incumbent Vice President Hamid Ansari's five-year term expires.

The vice president acts as the Indian president in the latter's absence due to death, resignation, impeachment or other situations.

The vice president of India is also the ex-officio chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament.