The Election Commission on Tuesday issued a notification asking vice presidential candidates to file their nominations for the elections scheduled for August 5, PTI reported. Incumbent Hamid Ansari’s tenure will end on August 10. Ansari has held the post for two consecutive terms.

The nominations can be submitted by July 18, and the scrutiny of nominations will take place on July 19. The last date for the withdrawal of candidates is July 21. The Election Commission has appointed Rajya Sabha Secretary General Shamsher Sharif the returning officer for the polls.

The candidate for the vice presidential elections requires 20 MPs as proposers and 20 MPs seconders. The National Democratic Alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party has 338 members in the 545-member Lok Sabha. In the Rajya Sabha, the BJP has 56 members out of 243, while the Congress, with 59 members, is the single largest party.

The Election Commission has introduced special pens for the electors to mark their votes in the upcoming presidential and vice presidential polls. A controversy had arisen during the Rajya Sabha elections last year after 12 Congress votes were declared invalid as the legislators had allegedly used their own pens instead of the designated sketch pen at the polling booth. This had led to the defeat of Congress-backed independent candidate RK Anand.

The process for the presidential election is already underway with the election date set for July 17. NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind and Opposition candidate Meira Kumar have filed their papers for the top post. The results for the presidential election will be declared on July 20.