Fact Box: Vice Presidential Election
Incumbent Vice President Hamid Ansari’s term comes to an end on August 10, 2017. Election Commission of India (EC) has issued a notification, the process of filing nominations for the vice presidential election.
About office of Vice President
The officer of Vice-President is second highest public office in India. He has second rank in the order of precedence. Practically, office of Vice President has been created to provide political continuity of the Indian state. His main function is in the form of ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha. He works as acting president when president is not available.
As per article 66, the candidate contesting for election of Vice-President of India should be citizen of India, completed age of 35 years and must be qualified to become a member of Rajya Sabha. He must not hold an office for profit. A candidate’s nomination paper needs to be subscribed by at least 20 electors as proposers and at least another 20 electors as seconders.
Note: Presidential candidate should be qualified to become a member of Lok Sabha, Vice-presidential candidate should be qualified to become a member of Rajya Sabha.
Like Presidential election, Vice Presidential election is also indirect and is held via system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote. The electoral college of Vice President includes elected by elected members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Unlike in Presidential election, MLAs or MLCs from state assemblies have no role to play in Vice Presidential election.
Term and removal
The term of office of the Vice President is five years. The term may end earlier by resignation which should be addressed to the President. The term may also terminate earlier by removal. There no impeachment process to remove Vice President.
The Vice President can be removed by a resolution passed by the members of the Rajya Sabha. To move such resolution, a 14 days’ notice is to be given. Such a resolution, though passed by the Rajya Sabha only, but must be agreeable to the Lok Sabha.
Functions of Vice President
Vice President is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. However, during the period when he acts as the officiating President of India, he shall not act as chairman of the Rajya Sabha and shall not be entitled to the salary or allowances payable to the chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
According to Article 65, in case the President is unable to discharge his duties for reasons such as illness, resignation, removal, death or otherwise, the Vice President shall carry out functions of the President. In such case, he will be entitled for the salary, allowance and all privileges of the President.