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  • Hamid Ansari wins Vice-Presidential poll

    New Delhi, Aug 10 (PTI): UPA-Left candidate Mohammad Hamid Ansari was declared elected the country's 13th Vice-President today winning by a convincing margin in a triangular contest.

    The 70-year-old seasoned diplomat and academician trounced NDA candidate Najma Heptullah and UNPA nominee Rashid Masood, given the numbers heavily loaded in his favour.

    Ansari got 455 votes against 222 secured by Heptulla while Masood finished third polling 75 votes. Ten votes were declared invalid.

    In all 762 members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha cast their votes in an all-Muslim contest. In the electoral college of 788, the effective strength of the two Houses is 783.

    The victory of Ansari, who will succeed Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, was a foregone conclusion as the BJP-led NDA as also the grouping of regional parties -- UNPA -- made it known earlier that they were in the fray to ensure that the poll does not go uncontested.

    Shekhawat had resigned within hours after he lost to UPA-Left candidate Pratibha Patil on July 21 in the Presidential poll.

    Ansari will take oath tomorrow at a ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan and would assume charge as Chairman of Rajya Sabha on Monday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P R Dasmunsi said.

    Profile of Hamid Ansari

    Scholar-diplomat-writer Mohammad Hamid Ansari brings with him a wealth of experience having handled an impressive range of assignments in a career spanning over 45 years.

    Ansari(70), an intellectual is expected to bring all his diplomatic skills to the fore when presiding over the Rajya Sabha in his capacity as the Chairman. He will be the second diplomat after K R Narayanan to occupy the post of Vice-President.

    A grand-nephew of Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari, who was President of the Indian National Congress in 1927 , Ansari is currently the National Commission for Minorities (NCM). His family belongs to Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh.

    Born in Calcutta on April 1, 1937, Ansari has a deep interest in West Asian affairs and often took positions inconvenient to the Indian official line on Iran and Iraq.

    He studied at Shimla's St Edwards High School and St Xavier's College in Calcutta and Aligarh Muslim University.

    Joined Indian Foreign Service

    Joining the Indian Foreign Service in 1961, Ansari has served as Indian ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia. He was also the Indian High Commissioner to Australia and New Delhi's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.

    Awarded Padma Shri in 1984, Ansari, who has written extensively on international affairs, was the Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University before he was appointed chairman of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) in March this year.

    Ansari has also served as a visiting professor at the Centre for West Asian and African Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University here and with the Jamia Milia Islamia's Third World Studies.

    A distinguished fellow of the Observer Research Foundation, he edited the book 'Iran Today -- Twenty Years After the Islamic Revolution.'

    The book explores evolving perceptions and their directions and the pace of change in Iran after the 1979 revolution that dethroned the Shah and brought an Islamic government to power changing the contour of West Asian political scene.

    Ansari has also written numerous academic papers and newspaper articles on West Asian politics and has served as chairman of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry's advisory committee for oil diplomacy as India launched its search for energy security by scouting for gas and oil reserves abroad.

    He was also chairman of the India-UK Round Table and a member of the National Security Advisory Board.

    As chairman of the NCM, Ansari had sent a team of Commission members to Gujarat this year to inspect camps housing victims of the 2002 riots in the state.

    In its report, the NCM noted that most of the camps lacked basic facilities even five years after rioting.

    Ansari, who will preside over Rajya Sabha proceedings as Chairman of the Upper House, has no previous experience in Parliament.

    "Any organisation is run on the basis of rules and regulations. the Rajya Sabha has excellent rules and regulations," says Ansari on how he can run the Upper House without any Parliamentary experience.

  • Articles by Hamid Ansari

  • Vice-Presidential poll

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