New Delhi, July 18: Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, who filed his nomination papers for his re-election to the post here on Wednesday, thanked the ruling UPA and the supporting parties for extending their support.
“It’s a great privilege for me to be the candidate of the UPA and the supporting parties. I am very grateful to all the leaders, who have come here to attend this function and sponsoring me,” he said.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, who was present on the occasion along with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, said he was delighted to witness such a massive support for Ansari’s renomination to the august office of Vice President of India.
“We are very delighted that there is such a massive support for renomination of Hamid Ansari saheb to the august office of the Vice President,” he said.
Several other leaders of UPA constituents, including Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan were also present during the nomination process.
“I am really happy (on his candidature). He is experienced,” said Mulayam.
“We congratulate Hamid Ansari saheb. His performance has been very good. I would appeal to all political parties to extend their support to him,” added Lalu.
Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal were also present during Ansari’s nomination for the August 7 vice presidential election.
Ansari, who is the UPA’s choice for the post of Vice President of India, is expected to get around 470 votes. If the Trinamool Congress (TMC) also decides to support his candidature, then he is expected to get over 500 votes.
Ansari will lock horns with NDA candidate Jaswant Singh in the poll. Ansari’s term as Vice President ends on August 10.
Ansari, 75, a career diplomat who has also served as Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, will emulate the late philosopher-statesman S Radhakrishnan, who got two terms as vice-president between 1952 and 1962.
In 2007, Ansari was a surprise choice for Vice President when the Left parties-which were supporting the UPA-I government from outside-proposed his name and the Congress-led alliance accepted it. He secured 455 votes, and won the election by a margin of 233 votes against his nearest rival Najma Heptullah.
The Vice-President is elected by an electoral college consisting of members of both Houses of Parliament, in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting in such election is by secret ballot.
The Electoral College to elect a person to the office of the Vice-President consists of all members of both Houses of Parliament.
The Vice-President of India is the second highest constitutional office in the country. He serves for a five-year term, but can continue to be in office, irrespective of the expiry of the term, until the successor assumes office. (ANI)