Jaswant Singh files nomination for Vice Presidential poll
New Delhi: NDA's nominee Jaswant Singh on Friday filed his nomination papers for the Vice Presidential poll in the presence of opposition leaders including LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Sharad Yadav.
74-year-old Singh, whose candidature was declared by NDA on July 16, filed his papers before Returning Officer TK Viswanathan, who is the Lok Sabha Secretary General.
Three sets of papers- one each by LK Advani, Sumitra Mahajan and Yashwant Sinha- supporting Singh's candidature were submitted to Viswanathan.
Soon after filing his nomination, Singh said elections to the high offices of President and Vice-President are "historic moments".
Besides JD(U) Sharad Yadav, who is the NDA Convenor, and BJP leader Arun Jaitley, Ananth Geete from Shiv Sena and Rattan Singh Ajnala, Harsimrat Kaur and Naresh Gujral from Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) were also present on the occasion along with several BJP leaders.
Though UPA candidate Hamid Ansari is set to enter the history books as the only person after S Radhakrishnan to get a second consecutive term as Vice President, NDA has decided to field Singh as it does not want to give the ruling coalition a walkover.
Singh, a former external affairs, finance and defence minister, has provided a semblance of seriousness to the contest.
NDA was keen on putting up a fight against Ansari as it is unhappy with his conduct in the Rajya Sabha on December 29, last year when he abruptly adjourned the House while the Lokpal Bill debate was on.
Singh later told reporters, "It is a very happy occasion. It is also an honour (to be NDA's candidate)."
Expressing the hope that he will win, he said that the contest should not be seen merely in terms of who has the "numbers and arithmetic".
On UPA having the numbers and Ansari all set to win the August seven poll, Singh said, "You may have reached this conclusion, I have not... The perception that in a democracy only numbers are counted is not true."
Singh, whose controversial book- "Jinnah- India, Partition, Independence" is banned in Gujarat, also denied that Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP unit in the state might not vote for him.
"Why not? Where did you get this doubt," he said in reply to a question on the issue.
The ban was reportedly imposed as the book holds Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who hailed from Gujarat, and Jawaharlal Nehru responsible for partition of the country.