Hamid Ansari
Hamid AnsariReuters

United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate Hamid Ansari has been re-elected as the Vice President of India, beating National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee Jaswant Singh.

Lok Sabha secretary general TK Vishwanathan, the Returning Officer for the election, announced that Ansari won the election with 490 votes while Singh bagged 238 votes out of the total 728 valid votes.

Polling for the Vice President's post began on Tuesday morning and continued till the evening. The total number of the Member of Parliament (MP) in both the houses is 790 but the present Electoral College has only 787 as two seats are left vacant by President Pranab Mukherjee and Vijay Bahuguna, and BJP MP J Shanta not eligible for voting owing to High Court ruling.

736 MPs casted their votes on Tuesday but eight were declared invalid and 47 MPs abstained from voting. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and BJP leader LK Advani were amount the MPs who voted.

Ansari was expected to win the election comfortably having the support of the UPA, Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal Secular and several other parties.

NDA nominee Jaswant Singh had the backing of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Janata Dal-United, Shiv Sena and also other smaller parties. The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) was expected to support him but the party sent a disappointing wave by deciding to abstain from voting.

Hamid Ansari is the second person to hold the esteemed Vice President post for the second term after S Radhakrishnan.