New Delhi, Aug 7 (IBNS): Lawmakers on Tuesday exercised their franchise to elect the next Vice-President of the country as United Progressive Alliance (UPA)'s candidate Hamid Ansari faces senior Bharatiya Janaa Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh in the contest for the post.
As many as 788 Members of Parliament (MPs) of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha are eligible to cast their ballots to elect the next Vice-President.
Nearly 600 electors cast their votes by 1 pm on Tuesday, government sources said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi cast their votes earlier in the day as polling commenced at 10 am.
The three leaders arrived together to cast their ballots.
Senior BJP leaders, including LK Advania, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Murli Manohar Joshi, also cast their ballots on Tuesday.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav also exercised their franchise.
Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood actor Rekha, who recently took oath as Rajya Sabha MPs, cast their votes as well.
The voting for the Vice-Presidential election was the first time when both the icons exercised their ballots as MPs of the upper house of the Indian Parliament.
Former Indian President Pratibha Patil had approved the names of Rekha and Tendulkar for nominated seats in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament earlier this year.
Hamid Ansari, who is the current Vice-President of the nation, is enjoying the support of UPA allies, the Left parties and several other parties that are supporting the government from outside.
The UPA is confident that its nominee Ansari will get about 500 votes and will be re-elected to the post.
Jaswant Singh, on the other hand enjoys the support of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
The polling will take place till 5 pm and counting of votes will be taken up at 6 pm.