India inched closer to getting a non-permanent seat on the 15-member UNSC with its sole competitor from Asia, Kazakhstan, backing out of the crucial race.
"We have done very well. The kind of support that India commands is very substantial," a senior diplomat told PTI, with New Delhi enjoying extensive backing among UN member-states 10 months ahead of voting in the General Assembly.
To win, India needs two-thirds of the General Assembly vote, which adds up to about 128 member states supporting it. The voting for the term starting in 2011 will take place in October 2010.
Kazakhstan being a member of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), an association of 56-Islamic states, was viewed by Indian as a serious competitor since it stood a good chance of getting the votes of a hefty number of Arab and Muslim nations in the General Assembly.
Indian sources here noted that Astana saw that winning a seat was unlikely and decided to engage their multilateral efforts elsewhere.
"It is important to understand that Kazakhstan withdrew with no ill feelings towards us. It was a friendly competition," the diplomat said.
However, diplomats here cautioned that India has not crossed the finishing line yet.
There is no guarantee that all nations that promise to vote, will end up voting. A late entry in the coming months can also split the votes.
"There are always spoilers so we have to keep the campaign going," diplomatic sources said.