Even as the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) assumes a comfortable position ahead of the polling for the vice-presidential candidate on Tuesday, its cautious leadership is working towards ensuring that its supporters do not cast invalid votes.
The UPA managers decided to alert its individual MPs with regard to the VP polls after they found that 81 invalid votes were cast during the presidential election last month. Although the polling took place through secret ballots, internal calculations conducted by the UPA showed that most of the invalid votes had originated from the ruling dispensation.
"I have written letters to all the MPs, highlighting once again how to vote in the vice-presidential polls. This is to ensure that no votes are lost due to invalid polling," parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told HT.
The Congress general secretaries were also asked to conduct state-wise meeting of MPs pertaining to the Congress and alliance parties. The electoral college for the vice presidential polls comprises 790 MPs from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
"We will definitely get more than 500 votes in favour of our candidate, Hamid Ansari," Bansal said.
Ansari is pitted against former finance minister and opposition-backed candidate Jaswant Singh.
In the presidential poll, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's vote was declared invalid, among others.