Not given to too many words, 75-year-old Hamid Ansari’s wide smile and spontaneous wave of the hand on Tuesday said it all.
He had won with a handsome margin of 252 votes to become the 14th Vice-President of India; the second one to have got a second term.
The only other person who had been Vice-President of India twice was the illustrious Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the first one to hold that office.
Ansari will take the oath of office and secrecy on August 11, which is a day after his current term ends.
Though Ansari’s victory came as no surprise, no one missed the point that the suave diplomat has won the Vice-Presidential elections by defeating former Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh — who is much more seasoned in electoral battles than the incumbent Vice-President.
The equally erudite rivals fought the battle for votes gallantly and with grace, qualities that are becoming rare in Indian politics.
At 7 pm, Lok Sabha secretary general, T K Vishwanathan, the Returning Officer for the election, announced that UPA candidate Hamid Ansari has defeated NDA candidate Jaswant Singh. While the former got 490 votes, the latter only managed 239.
A total of 740 out of the 787 Members of Parliament (MPs) cast their vote in the Vice-Presidential election since 10 in the morning on Tuesday.
Forty-seven MPs from both Houses failed to vote, including Union Minister Science & Technology Vilasrao Deshmukh, who has been admitted in a Chennai hospital.
Later, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal disclosed that 21 members from BJD, 11 from TDP, six from the Congress and supporting parties and two nominated members did not exercise their franchise.