Ansari re-elected vice-president with comfortable margin

Aug 08, 2012, 07:23 IST | Agencies

UPA candidate Hamid Ansari scored a comfortable victory in the vice-presidential election yesterday, defeating NDA nominee Jaswant Singh by 238 votes to secure another term in office.

The anticipated outcome was announced by Lok Sabha Secretary General TK Viswanathan, the returning officer for the poll, minutes after the counting of votes ended yesterday evening.

Best man for the job: Hamid Ansari has served as the country’s vice-president since 2007. He is a distinguished scholar and a seasoned diplomat. A former ambassador to the UAE, Afghanistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia, Ansari also worked as vice-chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and chairman of the National Minorities Commission. Ansari was in contention for the UPA’s presidential candidacy before Pranab Mukherjee was chosen as the nominee. File Pic

Ansari (75), polled 490 first preference votes out of 728 valid ones cast in the election held earlier in the day. Jaswant Singh polled 238 votes. Ansari needed 365 votes to be declared elected. “Therefore, Mohammad Hamid Ansari is duly elected as vice- president of India,” Viswanathan said.

Not disheartened
Jaswant Singh, a BJP MP and a former union minister, said the result was not disheartening for the NDA. “The NDA was united. We got other votes also. There is place for satisfaction and not for despair,” he said.

Sounding graceful in defeat, Jaswant Singh said he had called up Ansari to congratulate him and had extended all his cooperation. Ansari, who as the vice-president is also Rajya Sabha chairman, was given the certificate of election by Viswanathan.

Soon after he was declared elected, Ansari was greeted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Ansari said he was delighted with the results and expressed his gratitude to MPs for giving him support. “Core agenda of the chair is determined by the house. I am confident that we would have cooperative approach for work entrusted to Rajya Sabha,” he said. 

Sachin, Rekha add glamour
Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood veteran Rekha made a grand entry as they walked into the polling room at Parliament House to cast their votes in the vice-presidential election. As the two, who were nominated to the Rajya Sabha in April this year, entered the room, shutterbugs went into a frenzy, clicking furiously to capture the moment.

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