New Delhi: Hamid Ansari was on Saturday sworn in as the 14th Vice President of India, at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhawan here. This is Ansari’s second consecutive term as Vice President.
Ansari was administered the oath of office by President Pranab Mukherjee at a function attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and several Union Cabinet ministers, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partners and leaders from other political parties.
In the recently held Vice Presidential election, UPA candidate Ansari had defeated NDA nominee Jaswant Singh by 238 votes. Ansari, 75, polled 490 first preference votes out of 728 valid votes cast in the election. Jaswant Singh polled 238 votes.
Observers feel that presidential and vice-presidential elections have provided the Congress an opportunity to improve its ties with its allies in the UPA and forge better understanding with outside supporters of the government.
Ansari got more votes than he had secured in the 2007 election. He had the backing of the Congress and its allies in the UPA, including the Nationalist Congress Party, DMK and the National Conference.