Can’t bring insult on us by naming Badal for VP: Gujral

Akali MP says they do not have numbers; Punjab CM says party will follow NDA decision

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:June 17, 2012 1:37 am

Akali MP says they do not have numbers; Punjab CM says party will follow NDA decision

The Shiromani Akali Dal on Saturday said that it would not like to “bring insult on us” by proposing party patron and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s name as NDA’s ice-presidential candidate.

“Badal is happy where he is placed. He is in Punjab and he is happy. We are not into a position to advance his name (for Vice President). Will we bring insult on us by doing it when we do not have the numbers,” SAD leader and Rajya Sabha MP,Naresh Gujral,said.

Gujral,who along with other party leaders met JD-U chief Sharad Yadav,said the NDA will take a collective decision on the matter after its meeting on Sunday.

Badal’s name as a probable vice presidential candidate had done the rounds a few months back,when talks about the Presidential race had begun. Though sources said that SAD is keen on NDA projecting Badal as a candidate for the post of Vice President in a quid pro quo,Gujaral denied any such plan.

Gujral,however,asked: “Why will anyone take Badal’s name from NDA for Vice President’s post. This decision (about candidature of Vice President) has to be taken by the UPA”.

At the same time,he said the UPA has never attempted to “accommodate” the Opposition and build consensus on the issue of President.

On the issue of NDA supporting any candidate against Mukherjee in the Presidential race,Gujral said Akali Dal has always been a very “disciplined member of NDA” and will go by whatever decision is taken by the alliance.

Slamming attempts to drag Kalam’s name in the Presidential race,Gujral said it amounted to “demeaning and trivialising” Kalam as he has not given his consent for the same.

“Why do you take Kalam’s name again and again,when he never said he will contest. We actually trivialise and demean Kalam when we drag his name again and again,” he said.

Asked whether Akali Dal will support Kalam’s candidature,actively pursued by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee,the SAD leader said his party will respond to such questions only after Kalam says he is contesting.

Asked what was discussed in the meeting with the JD-U chief,Gujral said,“The political situation from now up to 2014.”

Meanwhile,Badal reiterated that as an NDA constituent,his party would support any decision taken by the alliance with regard to the Presidential election. The SAD-BJP alliance had a shared approach on all issues “which goes beyond political expediency”.

“The SAD-BJP combine in Punjab represents not just a political adjustment but a common approach to social cohesion,peace,communal harmony and Punjabi unity. There is total understanding among the alliance partners on all issues,” Badal said in a statement here.

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