In a bid to drive a wedge in the UPA over its presidential candidate Pratibha Patil, the NDA on Wednesday asked its allies, especially from the south, to clear their stand on incumbent A P J Abdul Kalam, who said he was ready for a second term if there is "certainty about this".
NDA spokesperson Sushma Swaraj told reporters that parties like the DMK and the PMK and also the BSP and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP should clear their position.
"What Kalam has said will certainly create disturbance in the UPA. These parties should now respond to what he feels," Swaraj remarked.
The BJP leader, who claimed BSP chief Mayawati had neither welcomed nor endorsed Patil's candidacy, was required to give her reaction to the president's views.
She, however, downplayed split within the NDA over Kalam in the light of the Shiv Sena's opposition to his continuation in the post for another tenure.
"It's now about overwhelming consensus. Some disagreement here and there does not matter," Swaraj argued.
But the BJP leader said a meeting with Kalam as part of moves to evolve a consensus on his candidacy could take place only after a discussion among NDA partners.
"The DMK, the PMK, the NCP and the BSP should come out with their stand. If they respond positively (to calls for consensus over Kalam), the Congress too should reconsider its decision," Swaraj said.
She accused the ruling UPA of creating a media hype about its chairperson Sonia Gandhi's endorsement of Patil's nomination, saying it aimed at blocking consensus over Kalam.
"They (the UPA) showed that the talk about consensus no longer exists," she said.