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Hours Before V-P Election, 16 NDA Lawmakers Cast Invalid Votes at 'Dummy Poll'

The BJP even held a workshop before the dummy exercise to go over the entire voting process, but the MPs failed to get their votes right, much to the dismay of BJP chief Amit Shah.

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Updated:August 5, 2017, 9:18 AM IST
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Hours Before V-P Election, 16 NDA Lawmakers Cast Invalid Votes at 'Dummy Poll'
File photo of BJP chief Amit Shah. (Getty Images)
New Delhi: A day before the vice-presidential election, 16 lawmakers of the ruling NDA failed to cast their votes correctly in a dummy poll organised on Friday to ensure their ballots do not go waste.

The BJP had even held a workshop before the dummy exercise to go over the entire voting process, but the MPs ended up with invalid votes, much to the dismay of BJP chief Amit Shah.

An upset Shah asked them to follow the correct voting procedure as described by senior leaders like Bhupender Yadav, so they do not repeat the mistake in the election on Saturday.

“There is no rocket science in it,” Yadav told members as he demonstrated the correct way of voting.

During the presidential poll, 77 votes in total were declared invalid. Of these, 21 were of MPs from various parties, including many from the NDA. Both Modi and Shah had asked BJP members to vote correctly so their ballots do not go waste.

At a party meeting this week, Shah had wondered how so many lawmakers could get something as simple as casting a vote wrong.

The NDA MPs were joined by the lawmakers from the AIADMK, the TRS and the YSRCP - three regional parties - who are all supporting the candidature of M Venkaiah Naidu, the BJP sources said.

Before the practice session, Venkaiah Naidu addressed the lawmakers and sought their votes. The session was followed by a dinner, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also present.

Unlike the presidential election in which the Electoral College also includes MLAs, only MPs of the two Houses can vote in the vice-presidential poll.

Naidu, the NDA candidate, is all but certain to win the election in which the opposition parties have put up Gopalkrishna Gandhi as their nominee against the former BJP president and Union minister.

The current NDA strength in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha is 337 and 80 respectively. The AIADMK, the TRS and the YSRCP have together 50 and 17 MPs in the two respective Houses.

The Electoral College comprises 790 members and parties with 484 members have already pledged their support to Naidu, who is also expected to be backed by several nominated members.
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