New Delhi: Incumbent Hamid Ansari, who is the ruling UPA's nominee for the Aug 7 vice
presidential poll, has an edge over his rival Jaswant Singh, who
has been propped up by the Bharatiya Janata Party, said government
Government sources claimed support of over 480 voters out of the
total 790 members of the electoral college, much above the
half-way mark, for Ansari.
Members of both houses of parliament (Lok Sabha 545 and Rajya
Sabha 245) form the electoral college for the vice president's
The UPA's strength comprises the Congress (278 members in both
houses), DMK with 25, the National Conference (5), the Nationalist
Congress Party (16), and the Rashtriya Lok Dal with 5.
Among the parties outside the UPA which have pledged support to
Ansari are the Bahujan Samaj Party (36), Samajwadi Party (31),
Communist Party of India-Marxist (27) and Rashtriya Janata Dal
This adds up to 423.
Revolutionary Socialist Party (2) has decided to abstain from
Sources said around 125 MPs belonging to various political parties
are yet to announce their preference.
Even if half of them support Ansari, his tally moves up to 485.
The government has not counted on Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool
Congress (28), which is yet to clarify its position.
In case of Jaswant Singh, the Bharatiya Janata Party has 163,
Janata Dal-United 29, Shiv Sena 15, and Shiromani Akali Dal 7.
Others like the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (3) and Haryana Janhit
Congress (1) are expected to support him.
This adds up to 218.
But Biju Janata Dal (21) and AIADMK (14) have not revealed their
stand on the poll yet.
Even if the two former NDA allies support Singh and half of the
undecided 125 parliamentarians back him, his tally reaches only
315, much below the probable support for Ansari.