Hamid Ansari Wednesday filed his nomination papers for being re-elected to the office of vice president in the presence of senior United Progressive Alliance (UPA) leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The nominations were handed over to Lok Sabha Secretary General T.K. Viswanathan, who is returning officer for Aug 7 vice presidential polls.
In what was seen as significant, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav was seated next to the prime minister at the brief event in Parliament House. The SP props the UPA government from outside.
Nationalist Congress Party's Sharad Pawar and Rashtriya Janata Dal's Lalu Prasad were also in the front row along with Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
Bahujan Samaj Party's Satish Misra, National Conference's Farooq Abdullah, DMK's T.R. Baalu and Lok Janshakti Party's Ram Vilas Paswan were among those present.
The prime minister, in his brief remarks, expressed happiness over the "massive support" for Ansari.
"We are all very delighted that there is such a massive support for renomination of Ansari Sahib for the august office of vice-president," Manmohan Singh told reporters.
Ansari said it was a privilege for him to be candidate of the UPA and supporting parties.
"It is a privilege for me to be candidate of UPA and supporting parties. I am very grateful to all the leaders who have come here to attend this function and sponsor me," he said.
The function was attended by several union ministers.
Congress sources said they were expecting over 500 votes for Ansari in an electoral college comprising 790 MPs.
If re-elected, Ansari will be the second vice president after S. Radhakrishnan to get another term in office.
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