UPA candidate Hamid Ansari was re-elected as vice-president on Tuesday.
Ansari, 75, a former IFS officer, got 490 votes against 238 bagged by NDA’s Jaswant Singh out of 736 votes polled. He is the second vice-president to be re-elected after S Radhakrishnan (1952-1962).
A total of 787 members of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha were eligible to vote but 47 MPs, including ailing Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, did not cast their votes. Deshmukh is currently undergoing treatment at a Chennai hospital.
Eight votes were invalid, according to TK Vishwanathan, Lok Sabha secretary general and returning officer for vice-presidential poll.
The former vice-chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University carried himself well as the Rajya Sabha chairman but courted controversy for abruptly adjourning the house on the last day of the winter session when a debate on the Lokpal Bill was going on.
Critical of Ansari’s decision, the BJP had accused him of trying to rescue the government from a possible embarrassing defeat in case voting took place. This was one of the reasons cited by the BJP for putting a candidate against him in the current election.
The voting began at 10 in the morning and was over by 5 in the evening.
Apart from all the leaders of both the UPA and the NDA, the star attractions were the nominated members in the Rajya Sabha — Sachin Tendulkar and Rekha. They came together to vote, accompanied by Rajiv Shukla, minister of state for parliamentary affairs.