"Delighted " Ansari seeks MPs' cooperation
Reelected vice-president for the second term, Hamid Ansari on Tuesday evening said he was delighted and sought cooperation from parliamentarians to continue working or "realisation of the aspirations of the people of India".
"I am delighted with the result...I will work with the MPs for the welfare of all sections of people," Ansari told reporters in New Delhi after he was announced as winner of a bipolar contest.
"I look forward to discharging my duties as Vice-President of the India and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha to the best of my abilities. I will urge all the members of the House to work towards the realisation of the aspirations of the people of India," Ansari said.
"It is a continuous process and I get a great deal of cooperation from the members of Rajya Sabha and I am confident that in the coming days and years, the cooperation will continue to be extended. It is a cooperative effort and it works well," Ansari, who chairs the Rajya Sabha said.
"Core agenda of the chair is determined by the house. I am confident that we would have cooperative approach to work entrusted to Rajya Sabha," he said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi visited Ansari's residence to congratulate him after the election results were declared.
A number of Congress leaders and ministers, including Digvijay Singh, Janardan Dwivedi, Motilal Vohra, Pawan Kumar Basal, V Narayanswamy and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar also went to Ansari's residence and congratulated him on his election victory, media reports said.
The Congress, which leades the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition meanwhile, thanked its allies and supporting parties for ensuring the "huge victory" of Hamid Ansari in the Vice Presidential elections.
"It is a big victory... in the presidential election, the gap was three-fourth and now also there is a big margin. One good thing is that at least this time there has not been baseless allegations," party spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi was quoted as saying.
Ansari's opponent Jaswant Singh, who was backed by the his party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and allies from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) meanwhile said he accepted his defeat "gracefully" and thanked his supporters.
Ansari on Tuesday was reelected for a second term, becoming the first person after Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan to be chosen again for the post.
Backed by the ruling UPA coalition and other parties Ansari, 75, polled 490 of the valid votes cast on Tuesday ahead of his opponent Jaswant Singh, a leader of the opposition BJP, who got only 238 votes while eight of all votes cast were found invalid.
Lok Sabha secretary general TK Vishwanathan, the returning officer for the poll, made the announcement about Ansari's re-election.
"I declare Hamid Ansari as duly elected to the office of the vice-president of India," he said.
The counting of votes to elect the next Vice-President of India had begun on Tuesday evening with high chances for United Progressive Alliance (UPA)'s candidate Ansari to win the contest in which he is pitted against senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Singh.
Lawmakers on Tuesday exercised their franchise to elect the next Vice-President of the country as polling started at 10 am and continued till 5pm.
While 788 Members of Parliament (MPs) of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha were eligible to cast their ballots, nearly 600 exercised their franchise, government sources said.
Ansari, who is the current Vice-President of the nation, was supported by the UPA allies, the Left parties and several other parties that are supporting the government from outside.
The numbers were heavily in favour of Ansari and there were high chances for him to be reelected to the post for a second term.
Jaswant Singh, who enjoyed the support of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), contested against Ansari.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi cast their votes earlier in the day as polling commenced at 10 am.
The three leaders arrived together to cast their ballots.
Senior BJP leaders, including LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Murli Manohar Joshi, also cast their ballots on Tuesday.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav also exercised their franchise.
Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood actor Rekha, who recently took oath as Rajya Sabha MPs, cast their votes as well.
The UPA said it was confident that its nominee Ansari would get about 500 votes and will be re-elected to the post.