BJP, allies will pitch vice presidential candidate


New Delhi: After sharp divisions over the presidential polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies, including the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) appeared on the same page on the vice presidential poll as they agreed Monday that the opposition should have its own candidate.

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National Democratic Alliance (NDA) convenor Sharad Yadav said Monday morning that the opposition parties would put up a united face on the vice president polls, which was seconded by BJP.

While a date for an NDA meeting on the issue has not been decided yet, sources say the alliance will meet in a couple of days.

“The president’s election was a different ball game. Pranab Mukherjee has so much experience in politics. He understands the country. That is why we supported his candidature,” Yadav said here.

“However, this time efforts will be made to ensure that the opposition puts up a united face on the issue of vice president’s election. We are now worried about it. We want there should be a broader unity in the opposition for it,” he said.

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad seconded it.

“It is Sharad ji’s suggestion… It is natural that the BJP will itself fight the vice president election,” Prasad said.

“Sharadji is the convenor of NDA, we will discuss it with are allies in NDA and decide,” he said.

Yadav also said that JD-U wanted a neutral person for the post. Sources from the BJP meanwhile said it was likely to pitch one of its own leaders as a candidate.

“BJP has some candidates in mind, but nothing has been finalised. Any decision will be taken in a meeting of the NDA,” a BJP leader said.

Ally, Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy meanwhile said he has no problem with a BJP member as candidate.

Present Vice President M. Hamid Ansari’s name has emerged as the preference of the ruling United progressive Alliance (UPA).