In India, Vice President is the second highest ranking government official in executive branch of India. Vice President can act as President in case of President’s death, resignation or removal and in the absence of the President. India’s Vice president is elected by members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The tenure of a Vice President is 5 years. To be vice president of India citizen must be minimum 35 years old and citizen of India.
“I declare Hamid Ansari as duly elected to the office of the vice-president of India,” T. K. Viswanathan, the returning officer for the poll, told reporters.
In 2012, Hamid Ansari was pitted against NDA’s nominee Jaswant Singh. He was re-elected as Vice-President for the second term. He won by a margin of 252 votes on 7 August 2012. Ansari becomes the second vice-president to get another stint in office, the first being S. Radhakrishnan.
Of the 736 votes cast, Ansari got 490 votes while Jaswant Singh got 238. Eight votes were declared invalid.
On 20 July 2007, Ansari was named by the UPA-Left combine as its candidate for the post of Vice-President. Ansari won the election by a margin of 233 votes against his nearest rival Najma Heptullah of NDA.
Mohammad Hamid Ansari was born in Kolkata on April 1, 1937, though his family hailed from Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh. The grand nephew of former Congress President Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari, a leader of the Indian independence movement, Ansari studied at Shimla’s St. Edwards High School and St. Xavier’s College of the University of Calcutta.
He previously headed the National Commission for Minorities, a body set up to protect the rights of minorities.A two-doctorate degree holder, he joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1961. He was Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and High Commissioner to Australia. He also served as New Delhi’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations based in New York.
Ansari has been a distinguished academic and was Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and was a Visiting Professor at the Centre for West Asian and African Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University and at the Academy for Third World Studies in Jamia Millia Islamia.
Ansari has written extensively on West Asia and is also known for airing his views on Iraq and Iran. These views were often contrarian to India’s official stance on those issues. In the most famous of them, which was published by the Outlook newsweekly in its October 10, 2005, issue, he questioned India’s vote in the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran’s nuclear programme. He said that New Delhi’s claims to have acted on “its own judgment” was not borne out by facts.
Hamid Ansari was awarded the Padma Shree in 1984. He also took a leading role in pushing for a complete re-look into the relief and rehabilitation for riot victims since 1984 after he became the chairman of the National Commission for Minorities in 2006.
Ansari has authored “Travelling Through Conflict: Essays on the Politics of West Asia” and edited a seminal work on Iran titled “Iran Today: Twenty–five Years after the Islamic Revolution.”
Dream Dare Win