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BJP tries to bridge gaps on presidential contest

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Wed, May 02, 2012 13:30 hrs

New Delhi/Indore, May 2 (IANS) Amid differences over the presidential contest, the BJP Wednesday tried to bridge the gap with its leader Sushma Swaraj meeting Janata Dal-United (JD-U) president Sharad Yadav.

BJP president Nitin Gadkari meanwhile said meetings would be held with all allies including smaller parties and that he will call on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav, the BJP-led NDA convenor.

'Before finalising the names of the candidates for the posts of president and vice president, talks would be held with the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) leaders individually as well as collectively,' Gadkari said in Indore.

'Talks will also be held with small parties since the regional parties have assumed a lot of importance today,' he said.

A cautious BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said in New Delhi that the party will comment on a presidential candidate only after a meeting of all NDA allies.

'We have nothing new to say,' Hussain said. He did not give a date for the meeting.

He reiterated that BJP leader Sushma Swaraj's comments that it would not back Pranab Mukherjee and Hamid Ansari for the country's top post and that Ansari lacked the stature to be the president were the BJP's views.

Informed sources said Sushma Swaraj and Sharad Yadav had decided not to discuss the issue publicly.

The JD-U Tuesday refused to endorse the BJP's views on the presidential candidates.

It is upset over the perceived communal angle in the Sushma Swaraj comment. To add to its woes, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had come out in favour of Ansari.

President Pratibha Patil's term ends in the third week of July.

The UPA has over 40 percent of the total votes in the electoral college while the NDA has less than 30 percent. Neither grouping can elect a presidential candidate on its own electoral strength.




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