New Delhi: The UPA looks all set to sail through the Vice Presidential election on Tuesday with the numbers stacked in favour of their candidate Hamid Ansari. The NDA, though, doesn't seem to have much to look forward to. With the battle for the Raisina Hill won with a thumping majority, the road doesn't appear to be difficult for the UPA in the Vice President poll too.
AIADMK Chief Jayalalithaa has come out in support of Ansari's opponent and NDA candidate Jaswant Singh. But there doesn't seem to be any good news for the NDA.
Ansari could enter the history books on Tuesday as the only person after S Radhakrishnan to get a second term.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said that the UPA will do a repeat of the Presidential elections.
The Opposition, not keen on giving the UPA a walkover and unhappy with Ansari's handling of the Lokpal Bill midnight drama in the Rajya Sabha, fielded former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh as their candidate for the Vice Presidential election. A united NDA with the JD(U) and the Shiv Sena is also getting support of their new friend Jayalalithaa.
"Even if the government's number is high we can't give them a walkover, that's the beauty of democracy," Jayalalithaa said.
A look at the numbers show the ruling coalition's confidence is not misplaced. All MPs in Parliament form the Electoral College. The winner needs 394 votes. UPA, along with SP and BSP and other Bihar parties has a tally of 451. Most of the Left Front parties and the Janata Dal Secular too are backing Ansari. Of 16 independent MPs, 10 are supporting Ansari. Ten nominated members may also support him.
Even with AIADMK backing, NDA's Jaswant Singh only has a tally of 231. RSP and Biju Janta Dal are abstaining from the polls.
The UPA's romance with its allies would be put to test during the monsoon session of Parliament which begins on Wednesday. Its chief crisis manager and consensus builder is no longer in Parliament and several important bills which require numbers are listed. UPA may sail through the Vice Presidential poll, but it could be heading for rough weather in the monsoon session.