Jaswant Singh was once NDA's unanimous VP candidate

Jaswant Singh was once NDA's unanimous Vice Presidential candidate against Hamid Ansari

BJP leaders Murli Manohar Joshi, Jaswant Singh, L.K.Advani , Sushma Sawaraj, B.K.Khanduri and Vijay kumar Malhotra talking to media in New Delhi on Monday June 28, 2004. Credit: DH Archive

Former Union Minister Jaswant Singh breathed his last on September 27, 2020. Singh, a multifaceted leader was once chosen to be NDA’s unanimous candidate for the Vice Presidential election against UPA’s Hamid Ansari.

Singh managed to secure 238 votes out of 736 in the 2012 VP election and was unable to secure a majority.

Upon receiving the candidature, Singh said, "It is a matter of great respect that the NDA has unanimously chosen me as their candidate for the post of Vice President. It is a big responsibility and also a challenge," according to a report by The Business Standard. 

At that time, the BJP leader was 74-years-old. 

Read: Former Union minister Jaswant Singh passes away

In the 2012 Vice Presidential election, Ansari was re-nominated, much to the opposition of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The then NDA Working President, L K Advani, said that they would not give the Congress-led UPA a walkover, and had “unanimously decided that Jaswant Singh will be the NDA candidate in the Vice Presidential poll".

The NDA had raised concerns over the re-nomination of Ansari, particularly the manner in which he conducted the Rajya Sabha when the Lokpal Bill was passed in 2013.  

Life in pictures: Jaswant Singh

The BJP leader indicated that the NDA would reach out to all such parties which did not agree to the UPA nominee’s re-nomination, and AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa extended support in this cause. 

This move strengthened the BJP-AIADMK relationship, and Jayalalithaa praised Singh, “It is my personal regard and esteem for him and association with him for 28 years since 1984 when we were colleagues in the Rajya Sabha. The second and more important reason is my firm belief that if we are to have a true democracy, there has to be be an opposition in the country. Simply because the ruling dispensation has put up a candidate who has a winning chance, it does not mean that no one else can contest,” she said, according to a report by The Times of India. 

“I want to make our opposition known and felt,” she added.