PM Manmohan Singh set the stage for a second term for Vice-President Hamid Ansari at the UPA's meeting on Saturday. Singh briefed the coalition leaders on his talks with different parties during the past few days and announced that there is a broad consensus on Ansari's candidature.
Singh also mentioned he had spoken to all UPA partners individually and then suggested Ansari's name as UPA's candidate. NCP could not attend the meeting but PM mentioned that the alliance partner is on board.
After PM's opening remarks, Congress president Sonia Gandhi requested others to give their opinion. No one reportedly opposed Ansari's name but Trinamool leader and railway minister Mukul Roy said his party has proposed the names of Gopal Krishna Gandhi and Krishna Bose as V-P. Gopal Krishna is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and Krishna Bose, an ex-Trinamool Congress MP, belongs to the family of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
Roy, however, added his party has "no problem" with Ansari but the final decision will be taken by party chief Mamata Banerjee.
VCK's Thirumaa Valavan Thol, reportedly said it has been a long time any Christian has been made V-P candidate and the UPA can also think of nominating a Christian for the post. Both PM and Gandhi listened patiently to all the speakers before making the formal announcement on Ansari.
At the end of the meeting, some leaders walked up to Roy to privately ask him about his party's possible stand.
Although he remained non-committal, Roy said so far his party chief has not spoken about voting against the UPA candidate. Earlier, TMC had opposed Ansari's candidature for the presidential elections.