Millennium Post

Congress likely to re-nominate Hamid Ansari

Hamid Ansari is likely to be re-nominated for the 7 August vice presidential election as the Congress candidate, party sources said Monday, adding it will send a 'right message' to the minority community. The BJP is yet to zero in on a nominee for the poll.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday discussed Ansari's name with Janata Dal-Secular [JD-S] leader HD Deve Gowda, who has supported his candidature.

'The prime minister spoke to Deve Gowda Saturday and discussed Hamid Ansari's name... our party supports his candidature for the vice presidential poll,' JD-S general secretary Danish Ali said.

According to the JD-S leader, Ansari should have been ideally nominated for the post of president of India but since that could not happen his candidature for the vice president's office should be welcomed.

'Ansari's tenure as vice president and Rajya Sabha chairman was an excellent one and he is a renowned scholar,' said Ali.

Earlier, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh too had hinted that 'Ansari's re-nomination would not be a bad idea'. Ansari's name was doing the rounds along with that of former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is the UPA's presidential nominee. Congress sources said Ansari's re-nomination for the 7 August vice presidential election will send the right message to the minority community.

But just like the 19 July presidential poll, the vice presidential election will not go uncontested.

The Bharatiya Janata Party said it will field its own candidate.

'It is natural that the BJP will fight the vice president's election. We will discuss it with our allies in the National Democratic Alliance and decide,' BJP's national spokesperson and general secretary Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.

Prasad, however, did not comment on who the party's candidate would be.

Insiders said the party is yet to zero in on a nominee for the vice presidential election.

The BJP is backing PA Sangma for the post of president against UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee.
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