Jul 122012

New Delhi: Despite strong opposition from one of its allies – Trinamool Congress, the Congress-led UPA alliance is likely to nominate the name of incumbent Vice-President Hamid Ansari for a second term on July 14.

Reports, Thursday, claimed that Ansari’s name has been endorsed by major UPA allies and a formal announcement in this regard will be made after a meeting of the ruling alliance on Saturday (July 14).

The Trinamool Congress chief is reportedly not happy with the way Ansari played his role as Rajya Sabha Chairman during the Lokpal debate late last year.

Her party instead wants former West Bengal governor Gopal Krishna or Krishna Bose as the next V-P.

Also, as regards to the Presidential poll, sources claim that Trinamool is likely to abstain during voting as it is not inclined to support both Pranab and PA Sangma.

In a bid to seek her support, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also called up West Bengal Chief Minister yesterday and requested her to attend the crucial UPA meet on Saturday.

The July 14 meeting will focus on the election for vice-president and it may be used to build consensus over Ansari’s candidature with other UPA members.

Banerjee has never been a fan of Ansari, largely because the Left endorsed him for the post five years ago. The Bengal Chief Minister’s party has said it upsets them to even contemplate voting on the same side as the Left.

Banerjee is the sole member of the UPA to have withheld support for Congress-led UPA’s candidate Pranab Mukherjee in the President polls to be held later this month. Banerjee has said she will decide whether to back Mukherjee or opposition candidate PA Sangma three days before the election which will take place on July 19.

Meanwhile, there are indications that the opposition NDA may see yet another split in its ranks.

According to JD (U) sources, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar may back Ansari once the UPA formally declares his name.

Kumar, who enjoys a good rapport with the vice-president, had favoured Ansari’s name for the President’s post. When the Congress decided on Pranab Mukherjee’s candidature, Kumar quickly announced his support for the former finance minister, breaking away from the BJP’s decision to back non-Congress nominee PA Sangma.


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