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BJP silent on Kalam,will wait for Cong choice

The opposition BJP,which had earlier offered to consider supporting former president APJ Abdul Kalam’s name for the President’s post if SP proposed his name

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: June 14, 2012 12:17:22 am

The opposition BJP,which had earlier offered to consider supporting former president APJ Abdul Kalam’s name for the President’s post if SP proposed his name,on Wednesday decided to wait for the Congress to respond first to the three names,including Kalam,proposed by Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mamata Banerjee.

“We discussed the Presidential poll at the BJP core group meeting. We analysed whatever discussions for the Presidential poll were held between UPA allies today. We discussed the names floated by both the parties supporting UPA. Congress should come out with its view first…. We will discuss this in NDA meeting and then come out with our view,” Ananth Kumar,convener of BJP Parliamentary party,told reporters after the core group meeting.

Senior leaders L K Advani,Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley could not attend the meeting because they were out of town.

Before the new names were floated by Mamata and Mulayam,NDA convenor and Janata Dal (U) president Sharad Yadav told The Indian Express,“Let Congress president Sonia Gandhi name her candidate first,we would take a call thereafter.” The NDA,according to him,had not decided on its own candidates for presidency and the vice-presidency.

While Ananth Kumar refrained from responding to queries regarding the party’s stance towards Kalam,Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj had recently indicated the party’s willingness to consider supporting Kalam provided Mulayam proposed his name. On senior leader Jaswant Singh’s meeting with Mulayam on Tuesday,BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman acknowledged the meeting was an exercise to get the position of other parties on the polls. “As the principal opposition,BJP wanted to know the position of other parties (SP) on the issue of presidential elections,” she said.

Mulayam said he discussed the issue of presidential as well as vice-presidential elections with Jaswant. He refused to divulge further details.

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