New Delhi: With voting underway to elect the nation's 14th vice president, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla on Tuesday confidently said that UPA nominee Mohammad Hamid Ansari would win with thumping majority.
Shukla said the result would be very good for members supporting Ansari's candidature.
"I feel that the manner in which Pranab Babu (President Pranab Mukherjee) won by thumping majority, similarly Hamid Ansari will also win the vice presidential election by thumping majority. The result will be very good as far as I can assess the situation. He is getting a lot of support from the members," he said.
Hamid Ansari will make history if he defeats NDA backed candidate Jaswant Singh to become the Vice President of India again. He will be the second person after Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan to serve twice as vice president.
Voting, which began at 10 a.m., will end at 5 p.m. The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the poll.
Prominent among those who exercised their franchise in Parliament included Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, BJP leaders L K Advani and Sushma Swaraj, master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, veteran actress Rekha and other dignitaries.
Ansari has the committed support of the Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), CPM, National Conference and several others.
Jaswant Singh has the support of the BJP, the Janata Dal-United, the Shiv Sena, the Akali Dal, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and several other smaller parties.
The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha has announced that it would abstain from voting in the vice-presidential election.
The vice president is elected through a direct ballot with Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members (including nominated) comprising the electoral college.
A total of 790 MPs are eligible to cast their votes today to elect the 14th vice president.