New Delhi, Aug 7 (IBNS): Vice President Hamid Ansari was reelected for a second term on Tuesday, becoming the first person after Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan to be chosen again for the post.
Backed by the ruling UPA coalition and other parties Ansari, 75, polled 490 of the valid votes cast on Tuesday ahead of his opponent Jaswant Singh, a leader of the opposition BJP, who got only 238 votes while eight of all votes cast were found invalid.
Lok Sabha secretary general TK Vishwanathan, the returning officer for the poll, made the announcement about Ansari's re-election.
"Mr. Ansari is duly elected as vice president of India,” he said.
The counting of votes to elect the next Vice-President of India had begun on Tuesday evening with high chances for United Progressive Alliance (UPA)'s candidate Ansari to win the contest in which he is pitted against senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Singh.
Lawmakers on Tuesday exercised their franchise to elect the next Vice-President of the country as polling started at 10 am and continued till 5pm.
While 788 Members of Parliament (MPs) of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha were eligible to cast their ballots, nearly 600 exercised their franchise, government sources said.
Ansari, who is the current Vice-President of the nation, was supported by the UPA allies, the Left parties and several other parties that are supporting the government from outside.
The numbers were heavily in favour of Ansari and there were high chances for him to be reelected to the post for a second term.
Jaswant Singh, who enjoyed the support of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), contested against Ansari.
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 UPA said it was confident that its nominee Ansari would get about 500 votes and will be re-elected to the post.