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Jaswant Singh to file papers for vice president Friday

Jaswant Singh, who has unanimously been chosen as opposition National Democratic Alliance candidate for the vice president post, will be filing the nomination on the last date of nomination for the poll.

Ruling United Progressive Alliance candidate and incumbent M. Hamid Ansari filed his papers Wednesday.

The candidature of Jaswant Singh, who has served as the finance, external affairs and defence minister, was announced by BJP leader L.K. Advani.

Born January 1938 in Jodhpur, Jaswant Singh was educated at Mayo College, Ajmer, before he moved to the National Defence Academy.

He joined the Indian Army in 1957 and left it in 1966.

Jaswant Singh first entered parliament in 1980, the year the BJP was born as a latter-day avatar of the erstwhile Jana Sangh.

He has been elected to the Rajya Sabha five times and to the Lok Sabha four times. He was Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha from 2004, and he is now a member of the Lok Sabha from Darjeeling.

Ansari already has the support of 438 votes in the 790-member electoral college, more than the 50 percent needed to win.

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