I accept my nomination for VP poll with all humility: Ansari
"I thank the Prime Minister, the UPA Chairperson, ingredient members of the UPA and those parties which have supported my candidature and for the confidence reposed in me for shouldering once again the responsibility of this high office," he said soon after his name was endorsed at a meeting of UPA partners. He said he accepts the candidature "in all humility".
Before Ansari made the brief statement to reporters, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal drove to the Vice-President`s House to officially convey UPA`s decision.
Bansal said the name of Ansari for the post of the Vice-President for a second term was decided in view of the "dignity and distinction with which he conducted and presided over the Rajya Sabha in the first term."
It is learnt that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and BSP chief Mayawati spoke with Ansari earlier on Saturday.
In the last election, Ansari had polled 455 votes against 222 for Najma Heptullah fielded by NDA. Rashid Masood of the now defunct United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) had got 75 votes. At that time, Ansari`s candidature was floated by the Left parties, which were key outside supporters of the UPA.
At the UPA meeting on Saturday, the Prime Minister proposed Ansari`s name and sought the suggestions of the leaders present. Later Gandhi made the announcement. Chidambaram said "all leaders" present at the UPA meeting "accepted" the candidature of Ansari.
Asked whether Mukul Roy supported Ansari`s candidature, he said he "applauded" the announcement. Roy, however, had a different line as he made it clear that he had not supported Ansari`s candidature.
"As the agenda of this meeting was not known to us, we proposed two names – that of Gopal Krishna Gandhi and Krishna Bose – as candidates for the Vice Presidential election. But as Ansari`s name was proposed by the Congress, we said we will take a decision after consulting with our leadership," he told reporters.
"I will convey today`s decision to our party leadership and we will let you know our decision soon," he said. Singh and Gandhi met Ansari and congratulated him.
Accepting the decision in "all humility", Ansari thanked all political parties who supported his name and "reposed in me for shouldering once again the responsibility of this high office.
The Prime Minister also spoke to Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati and both welcomed the UPA decision, Chidambaram said. Singh also spoke to CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat.
Chidambaram said Singh also talked to BJP leader L K Advani before the meeting to indicate that there was "overwhelming" support for Ansari`s candidature. Mayawati and some Left leaders called Ansari to congratulate him.