NDA united for VP election

Contrary to the stand that National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners Janata Dal (United) and the Shiv Sena took on the presidential election, the alliance looks united in the case of the vice presidential election.

The JD(U) chief and NDA convenor Sharad Yadav gave indications on Sunday that his party would support the NDA's vice presidential candidate. He said that the NDA would meet on Monday to discuss its options.

The other NDA ally Shiv Sena, which has supported Pranab Mukherjee in the presidential election, announced that this time it would support the NDA nominee. 'The Shiv Sena will support the NDA candidate in the vice presidential election,' said Sanjay Raut, the spokesperson of the Shiv Sena.

Yadav, however, did not comment on the reports that the NDA was considering his candidature for the post. 'I will never speak on speculations,' he said.

The JD(U) chief, though, criticised the economic policies of the UPA government and blamed Mukherjee for the 'economic mess', despite the party's decision to support his candidature.

'Mukherjee is responsible for the economic mess [we are in]. We don't support him on this issue,' said Yadav. He added that the vice presidential election and supporting Mukherjee in the presidential race are two different things.

'I have never supported Congress' political line since I joined politics. We have supported Mukherjee for his political experience only,' said Yadav.


The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance will finalise its vice presidential nominee Monday amid Najma Heptulla's name doing the rounds, party leaders said. The BJP will consult its allies at a meeting in the capital even as the ruling United Progressive Alliance [UPA] has already decided to re-nominate incumbent Hamid Ansari for the post. BJP leaders said that the meeting of NDA allies have been scheduled Monday following which the combine will announce its candidate.

‘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. With the BJP deciding to fight the poll, Ansari, won't get a walkover and a contest is imminent. BJP sources said that the party was considering the Janata Dal-United president and NDA convenor Sharad Yadav and BJP leader Najma Heptullah. Heptullah unsuccessfully contested for the post against Ansari in 2007.


Former West Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi on Sunday refused to contest the vice presidential election, saying he did not want to.

The refusal came as a setback for Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee who was keen on his candidature.

The UPA on Saturday nominated incumbent Hamid Ansari for a second term at the post.

The BJP, meanwhile, is considering fielding Janata Dal [United] chief Sharad Yadav or Jaswant Singh for the post.


After the presidential poll, the vice presidential election has once again exposed the squabbles within the UPA, with ally Trinamool Congress yet again claiming to be ‘undecided’ on the ruling coalition's nominee for the post - incumbent Hamid Ansari.

UPA's newfound crisis manager Home Minister P Chidambaram had said that Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee - the duo that gave the UPA 48 hours of sleeplessness during the process of choosing its presidential nominee - were on board this time as well as they discussed Hamid Ansari's candidature.

Amidst the squabbles, the Congress has refused to comment on whether the events will make the TMC's position untenable within the alliance. The fact, however, is that there will be more embarrassment in store for the government once the party makes up its mind next week on its vice presidential candidate.

Apart from the Trinamool Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party [NCP] too skipped the recent UPA dinner, with some suggesting that party supremo Sharad Pawar was upset at not being made official number two of the government, despite his years of seniority.
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