NDA to finalise its vice presidential candidate today

Last Updated: Mon, Jul 16, 2012 05:50 hrs

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has called a meeting of its allies here on Monday to decided on the candidate for the coveted post of Vice President of India.

The BJP Core Group met here earlier on Saturday evening after the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) announced Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari's name for a second term.

"We have decided to contest the vice presidential election. A meeting of NDA allies has been convened on July 16 to discuss the issue. We will announce our candidate after due deliberations and consulting our allies," BJP General Secretary Ananth Kumar told the media after the BJP Core Group meeting here on Saturday.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi earlier announced Ansari's candidature in presence of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and other partners of the ruling alliance earlier on Saturday.

"Mohammad Hamid Ansari will complete shortly term as a Vice President of India. He has presided over the Rajya Sabha with dignity and distinction. The UPA is honoured to nominate him as its candidate for the second term as vice president of India," Gandhi said.

Union Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan have also announced their support to Hamid Ansari's candidature.

The Congress' main ally, the Trinamool Congress, is, however, still undecided on the vice presidential candidate.

Union Railway Minister and TMC lawmaker Mukul Roy, who was present in the UPA meeting on Saturday, later said that a final call in this regard would be taken by his party chief Mamata Banerjee.

"We are the allies of the UPA. I have told them that I will communicate this to my party, and as the agenda is not known to my party, I will let you know our party's stand in a day's time," he said.

The last date for nomination for the vice president election, scheduled for August 7, is July 20.

Ansari's term as Vice President ends on August 10. (ANI)

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