As in the Presidential election,the Left parties are divided over the vice-presidential election too. Soon after the UPA announced Hamid Ansari as its candidate,the CPM,CPI and the Forward Bloc indicated they would back him,while the RSP announced it would not support him and may abstain from voting.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to CPM general secretary Prakash Karat,informing him about the UPAs decision. Although the CPM will officially announce its decision on Monday,sources in the party said it would in all likelihood support Ansari.
So will the CPI,which had decided to abstain from voting in the presidential election saying it cannot support a UPA candidate,and the Forward Bloc.
A senior CPI leader said there was no comparison between Ansari and Pranab Mukherjee,who is the UPAs presidential candidate.
Mukherjee was the finance minister and was responsible for the economic policies which we have been opposing. That is not the case with Ansari. He is not a leader of the Congress party. He is not responsible for its policies. Moreover,we had supported him last time around, a senior CPI leader told The Indian Express. The party will officially announce its decision on July 18.
Forward Blocs G Devarajan concurred. Ansari is not from the Congress and is a secular candidate. We will support him, he said.
RSP chief T J Chandrachoodan said his party will not support Ansari.
As far as the RSP is concerned,there is no difference between a UPA candidate and a Congress candidate. UPA candidate means the Congress candidate, he told The Indian Express.
He said the political situation in 2007,when the Left Front supported Ansari,was different.
The situation has changed. We are on an agitational path against the UPA. How can we support the UPA? I request other Left parties also to understand the rationale behind our decision and take such a principled stand. They should also not support a UPA nominee and abstain from voting, he said.
As far as the CPM is concerned,the party has curiously taken a stand that it will not support a candidate from the Congress party.
Curious since it had decided to back Mukherjee in the presidential election,a move that has spawned discontent in the party.