With the cloud of uncertainty moving from the Presidential candidate to that of his deputy,CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said on Thursday that his party would prefer a person with stature and a distinguished background,and more importantly,one not from the Congress party as the Vice-President of the country.
Speaking to reporters in Chennai where he is attending the state committee meeting,Karat said the position of his party was made clear to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself,who has been reaching out to various political parties in search of a candidate acceptable to most of them.
As far as the Vice-Presidentship is concerned,the UPA has to decide whom they want to put up for the post. We have told the Prime Minister that we would like to have a person who does not belong to the Congress party… who has stature and a distinguished background. So,it is up to them to decide. We will then respond after that, Karat said.
The name of the incumbent,Hamid Ansari,has been floating for the post for a second consecutive term,though there has not been any formal announcement on the part of the UPA regarding the candidature.
CPMs insistence on UPA fielding a non-Congress candidate comes at a time when its decision to support the candidature of senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee for the post of the President has created a rift among Left parties and even within the party itself.