New Delhi: With UPA announcing the name of Hamid Ansari as their Vice Presidential candidate, the NDA is also likely to finalise its nominee on Monday.
The BJP will consult its allies at a meeting in the capital today. “We have decided to contest the Vice Presidential election. We will announce our candidate after due deliberations and consulting our allies,” said BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar had said.
While the main Opposition had indicated that it will not give a walkover to Congress in the Vice-Presidential poll, its reservations regarding Ansari since his conduct during the Lokpal Bill debate in Rajya Sabha on December 29, 2011, further contributed to the party’s decision to contest the election, sources said.
With the BJP deciding to fight the poll, Ansari, won’t get a walkover and a contest is imminent.
As per reports, BJP veteran Jaswant Singh has emerged as the frontrunner as the NDA candidate for Vice President’s election next month.
The name of Janata Dal-United president and NDA convenor Sharad Yadav and BJP leader Najma Heptullah is also doing rounds.
Heptullah had unsuccessfully contested for the post against Ansari in 2007.
However, sources in the BJP said yesterday that Sharad Yadav appears to be not too keen to contest as the numbers are stacked heavily in favour of UPA nominee Hamid Ansari.
The JD-U and another NDA ally, Shiv Sena, broke ranks with the BJP to support UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee for the July 19 presidential poll. However, the Shiv Sena has indicated it will back the NDA candidate for vice president.
The Trinamool Congress, which is on a rough patch with the Congress, had zeroed down on the names of former West Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi and freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose’s niece and former Lok Sabha member Krishna Bose, as per reports.]
However, Gopal Gandhi made it clear yesterday that he was not in the race for the Vice President’s post. “I have thanked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for having thought of me and suggested to the UPA partners my name for the Vice-Presidential election,” he said yesterday.
Asked whether any other leader had requested him to enter the fray, Gandhi said, “Some people approached me, but I said thank you. I will not.”