Members of Parliament will vote on Saturday to elect the next Vice President of India in an election where National Democraitc Alliance candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar is pitted against Opposition pick Margaret Alva.
With numbers stacked in favour of the NDA, Dhankhar, former Governor of West Bengal, is set for an easy win.
Cracks were visible in opposition unity as Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress decided to abstain from voting alleging lack of consultations while deciding on the name of Alva.
The 80-year-old Alva is a Congress veteran and has served as Governor of Rajasthan, while the 71-year-old Dhankhar is a Jat leader from Rajasthan with socialist background.
While polling will be held from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday, the ballots will be counted immediately after that.
By late Saturday evening, the returning officer will announce the name of the next vice president.
Members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, including nominated members, are eligible to vote in the vice presidential poll.
The term of incumbent M Venkaiah Naidu ends on August 10. The vice president is also the chairperson of Rajya Sabha.
The electoral college in the vice presidential election comprises a total of 788 members of both Houses of Parliament.
Since all the electors are members of both Houses of Parliament, the value of vote of each MP would be the same -- one, the Election Commission has said.
The election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote and the voting at such election is by secret ballot.
There is no concept of open voting in this election and showing the ballot to anyone under any circumstances in the case of presidential and vice-presidential elections is totally prohibited, the EC has cautioned, adding that parties cannot issue whip to its MPs in the matter of voting.
Unlike the presidential poll where voting takes place in multiple locations as elected MLAs, not nominated, also form part of the electoral college, in the vice presidential election, voting takes place in Parliament House.