Even as the campaign committee for defeated presidential candidate PA Sangma comprising BJP leaders SS Ahluwalia and Ananth Kumar was formally dissolved on Tuesday, the party — in agreement with NDA allies — named Shahnawaz Hussain and Rajiv Pratap Rudy as campaign coordinators for its vice-presidential candidate Jaswant Singh.
But Sangma's legal team stays and is likely to take a call on moving the Supreme Court to challenge Mukherjee's election within days, sources said.
NDA leaders including senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Nitin Gadkari, Jaswant Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi, JD (U) chief Sharad Yadav, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut and SAD's Naresh Gujral met on Tuesday to discuss the vice-presidential election.
While numbers — Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs constitute the electoral college for the election of the vice-president —are heavily in favour of UPA candidate and vice-president Hamid Ansari, BJP leaders had hoped the poll will be an opportunity to consolidate and possibly expand the NDA.
The party had seen the presidential election in the same light, but the NDA consensus had been split in the run-up to the poll and many of its Karnataka legislators voted for UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee. Given this, the vice-presidential poll is more a damage-control opportunity.
“We are also seeing the impending contest as a chance to hit out at the UPA's misgovernance, corruption, discrimination against states, CBI misuse and galloping inflation," said a BJP leader, suggesting that the contest was more about opposing the UPA than about giving a tough fight.
Meanwhile, Sangma's campaign panel was dissolved on Tuesday at a thanksgiving meet attended by several senior NDA leaders.