UPA candidate Hamid Ansari was today re-elected Vice President in a virtual repeat of the one-sided election that was witnessed in the Presidential poll when he defeated NDA's Jaswant Singh by a huge margin. Ansari thus became only the second person to get a second term when he defeated Singh by a margin of 252 votes.
The 75-year-old a former career diplomat, who missed out in the recent Presidential race, got 490 votes against 238 secured by the BJP veteran, a former union minister who had held the portfolios of finance, defence and external affairs.
Altogether 787 Members of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha were eligible to vote, 47 MPs did not cast their votes. These included ailing Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, who recently underwent a heart surgery.Those who abstained included 21 BJD MPs, 11 of TDP and two of RSP. In all, 736 votes were polled in the election that took place today.
Eight votes were invalid, according to T K Vishwanathan, Lok Sabha Secretary General and Returning Officer for Vice Presidential poll. The election was on expected lines with the UPA cobbling its numbers comfortably on the lines it had managed during the Presidential poll including bagging the support of key constituent Trinamool Congress and outside allies SP and BSP.