Hamid Ansari ready for second innings, has edge over rival
Incumbent Hamid Ansari, who is the ruling UPA's nominee for the August 7 vice-presidential poll, has an edge over his rival Jaswant Singh, who has been propped up by the BJP, said government sources.
Sources claimed support of over 480 voters out of the total 790 members of the electoral college, much above the half-way mark, for Ansari.
Members of both houses of parliament (Lok Sabha 545 and Rajya Sabha 245) form the electoral college for the vice president’s poll. The UPA’s strength comprises the Congress (278 members in both houses), DMK (25), the NC (5), the NCP (16), and the RLD with 5.
Among the parties outside the UPA which have pledged support to Ansari are the BSP (36), SP (31), CPI-M (27) and RLD (5). This adds up to 423.
Revolutionary Socialist Party (2) has decided to abstain from voting.
Sources said around 125 MPs belonging to various political parties are yet to announce their preference. Even if half of them support Ansari, his tally moves up to 485.
The UPA has not counted on Mamata’s TMC (28), which is yet to clarify its position.
In case of Jaswant Singh, the BJP has 163, JD-U 29, Shiv Sena 15, and SAD 7. Others like the JMM (3) and HJC (1) are expected to support him. This adds up to 218. But BJD (21) and AIADMK (14) have not revealed their stand on the poll yet.
Even if the two former NDA allies support Singh and half of the undecided 125 parliamentarians back him, his tally reaches only 315, much below the probable support for Ansari.