Voting for the Vice Presidential poll began at 1000 hours on Friday to elect a successor to Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who quit the post after losing the race for Raisina Hill last month.
The exercise, in which members of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha would exercise their franchise, appeared to be a mere formality with UPA-Left nominee Hamid Ansari far ahead of his two rivals in the numbers game.
While Najma Heptullah of the NDA and Rasheed Masood of the UNPA are in the fray, the number game is heavily loaded in favour of Ansari in the all-Muslim race.
The UPA-Left along with the BSP commands the support of 425 MPs of the total of 788 members in the two Houses. The NDA has the backing of 240 MPs. The Third Front, formally known as the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA), has 81 MPs.
A successful candidate needs to secure 393 votes.
The Janata Dal (Secular) will abstain from voting. The party, which maintains equidistance from both Congress and BJP at the national level, has also decided not to support the Third Front candidate.
JD(S), which is sharing power with BJP in Karnataka, has four members in Parliament -- two each in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.