Former finance minister Jaswant Singh
Former finance minister Jaswant Singh (courtesy: Jaswant Singh website)

The NDA on Monday formally announced its nominee for the Vice-president post, which was decided in a meeting at senior leader LK Advani's residence in New Delhi.

NDA leaders have zeroed-in on former Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh for the post against UPA's nominee, current Vice President Hamid Ansari.  Advani told the media that there was complete unanimity on Singh's name. 

Former Finance Minister Jaswant Singh Courtesy: Jaswant Singh website
Former Finance Minister Jaswant Singh Courtesy: Jaswant Singh website

Earlier, speculations were doing rounds that BJP was considering fielding JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav. However, the main opposition said that Yadav was reluctant to fight for the Vice-President post.

Member of Parliament Jaswant Singh, who hails from Jodhpur in Rajasthan, served as an officer in the Indian army in 1960s and is an alumnus of Mayo College and the National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla.

Singh headed the Finance minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government which lasted for just 13 days in 1996 and became the External Affairs Minister in 1998, after Vajpayee took over the Prime Minister's office once again.

In July 2002, Singh was once again retained as head of the Finance Ministry. He served as Finance Minister until the Vajpayee government was defeated in May 2004.

The BJP high command is hoping to obtain consent on Singh's candidature from its allies, who earlier broke ranks with the party on backing former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma for the President post.

Key allies of NDA, JD(U) and Shiv Sena supported former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's candidature for the President Post.

The BJP refused to support Ansari, especially after the way he carried on the Lokpal debate in Lok Sabha in an extended winter session last year.