Election of Vice President


The election of the Vice President is a defining moment in the United States’ democratic landscape. This procedure, which is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, has significant implications for the political balance and administration of the nation. The Vice President is the second-highest official in the federal government, poised to assume the presidency in the event of a vacancy or the President’s incapacity.

Vice President Election in India

The election of the Vice President of India is a crucial constitutional procedure that plays an important role in the democratic governance of the country. India, which is frequently referred to as the world’s largest democracy, adheres to the principles of representation and inclusiveness at all levels of its governance. This article explores the historical context, the constitutional framework, the role and responsibilities of the Vice President, the nomination process, and the impact of this election on India’s political landscape.

The Vice President of India is a constitutionally significant position that plays a pivotal role in the country’s administration.

Constitutional Foundation

The provisions of the Indian Constitution govern the election of the Vice President in India. Article 63 of the Constitution established the Vice President’s office, while Article 66 describes the election process.

Eligibility Standards

A candidate for the office of vice president must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Citizenship: The applicant must be an Indian citizen.
  • Age: The applicant must be at least 35 years old.
  • Qualifications: To be eligible for election as a member of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States), a candidate must be enrolled to vote in the country.

Nomination Method

In India, the nomination procedure for the Vice Presidential election is a crucial phase in the democratic process. Typically, it consists of the following steps:

  • Announcement of Election: On the recommendation of the Election Commission, the President of India proclaims the date of the Vice Presidential election.
  • Filing of Nominations: Candidates must file their nominations with the Returning Officer, who is typically the Secretary-General of the Rajya Sabha, in accordance with the prescribed format.
  • Scrutiny of Nominations: The Returning Officer examines the nominations to ensure that candidates satisfy the eligibility requirements and have the required number of proposers and seconders.
  • Withdrawal of Nominations: After examination, candidates have the option to rescind their nominations within a specified period of time.
  • Contesting Candidates: If after the withdrawal phase more than one candidate remains, an election is conducted.

The Electoral College

The Vice President of India is not directly elected by the people. Instead, the members of the electoral college for the Vice Presidential election are as follows:

  • Members of Rajya Sabha: Elected and nominated members of the Rajya Sabha, including the Chairman (Vice President of India) if he or she seeks re-election.
  • Lok Sabha Members: Lok Sabha (House of the People) Members.
  • Members of State Legislative Assemblies: Members of State Legislative Assemblies who have been elected.
  • Members of Union Territories with Legislatures: Members of Union Territories with legislatures take part in the election.

Votes With Weight

In the election for Vice President, ballots are not counted on a per-person basis. Instead, each electoral college member has a certain number of votes based on a weighted voting system. The electoral college ballots of members are calculated as follows:

  • Members of the Rajya Sabha: Each Rajya Sabha member has one vote.
  • Members of Lok Sabha: The total vote value of all Lok Sabha members is divided by the number of elected Rajya Sabha members. The result is the significance of each member’s vote in the Lok Sabha.
  • Members of State Legislative Assemblies: The total value of ballots of all members of the State Legislative Assemblies is divided by the total number of elected members of the Rajya Sabha from all states. The outcome is the vote value of each state assembly member.

Election Procedure

The Vice Presidential election uses a system that permits electors to rank candidates in order of preference. The typical election procedure is as follows:

  • Balloting: Members of the electoral college submit their ballots in secret during the voting process. Voters designate their preferences by marking the ballot with the corresponding candidate numbers.
  • Counting and Redistribution: If no candidate receives an absolute majority of votes (more than 50 percent), the procedure of redistribution commences. The candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and their votes are distributed among the remaining candidates based on the voters’ second preferences.
  • Repeat Process: The elimination and redistribution procedure is repeated until one candidate receives an absolute majority of votes.
  • Declaration of Results: The candidate who receives more than fifty percent of the vote is proclaimed elected as Vice President of India.

Position and Responsibilities

The Vice President of India holds a constitutionally unique position and performs a number of duties, including:

  • Presiding Over Rajya Sabha: The Vice President functions as the ex officio President of the Rajya Sabha. As such, they officiate over the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha, maintain order, and ensure that the house’s rules are adhered to.
  • Casting Vote: In the event of a deadlock vote in the Rajya Sabha on any matter, the Vice President, in their capacity as Chairman, has the discretionary vote to break the tie.
  • Assuming Presidential Duties: In the absence of the President of India or in the event of a vacancy in the office of the President, the Vice President temporarily undertakes the responsibilities and powers of the President.
  • Representing India: The Vice President may represent India at domestic and international official functions and diplomatic events.
  • Advisory Role: The Vice President can perform an advisory role by providing the President and the government with suggestions, guidance, and opinions on matters of national importance.

Duration of Office

The Vice President of India serves a renewable term of five years. In contrast to the President, there is no limit on the number of terms a Vice President can serve, so long as they continue to be re-elected.

The Importance of the Vice President

  • Constitutional Balance: The Vice President assists in preserving the balance of authority among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.
  • Continuity of Governance: In the event of the President’s absence or vacancy, the Vice President is responsible for ensuring the continuity of governance.
  • Presiding Over Rajya Sabha: As Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the Vice President performs an essential role in the operation of the upper chamber of Parliament.
  • Potential Presidential Succession: The Vice President would succeed the President in the event of a vacancy in that office.
  • Advisory Role: The Vice President can provide valuable guidance and counsel on matters of national importance.

In India, the election of the Vice President is a carefully structured and constitutional procedure that guarantees the selection of a qualified individual to occupy this important office. In addition to being the President’s successor, the Vice President is also responsible for presiding over the Rajya Sabha and providing advice on national governance. Understanding the subtleties of this election process and the significance of the Vice President’s office is essential for a complete comprehension of India’s constitutional framework and democratic government.


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