MPs queue up to vote for vice president (Second Lead)

August 7th, 2012 - 5:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and BJP leader L.K. Advani were among the members from both houses of parliament who voted Tuesday to elect India’s 14th vice president.

Vice President Hamid Ansari, the candidate of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), is expected to win a second term in office, breezing through the challenge from the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) candidate, BJP leader Jaswant Singh.

Voting began at 10 a.m. and will continue till 5 p.m. Counting of votes will be taken up at 6 p.m.

The prime minister, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi came together to cast their ballot.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad were among those who voted.

Official sources said 600 of the estimated 787 members from the two houses had voted by 2 p.m.

Ansari, who is seeking re-election, is being backed by the Congress, most other parties of the United Progressive Alliance, those supporting the alliance from outside and some Left parties.

Jaswant Singh, a former union minister, has the backing of the NDA as well as the AIADMK.

Congress leaders said they hoped Ansari would get over 500 votes.

The vice president is elected by members of an electoral college consisting of members of both houses of parliament in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote. Nominated members of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha are also entitled to take part in the election.

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