The BJP and its allies will strive to avoid a split in their ranks in the contest for the vice-president, which was not the case in the presidential race, say their leaders.
Though discussions are yet to begin on identifying a common candidate for the polls slated for August 7, senior leaders said they will try to ensure a straight fight between the UPA candidate and non-Congress parties, including the NDA.
The mammoth task before the party is to win back the support of allies — the JD (U) and Shiv Sena — who broke ranks in the presidential polls to back UPA nominee Pranab Mukhejee along with keeping the ADMK and the BJD on board.
Senior BJP leaders are keen to enlist the support of the ADMK and the BJD as their party supported ex-Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma, whose name was first propped up by Jayalalithaa and Naveen Patnaik, respectively.
As PM Manmohan Singh is said to have begun discussion with other parties, the BJP and JD(U) on Monday indicated their plans.
“No question of supporting the UPA candidate. We will field our own candidate,” said BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad. "It is natural that the BJP will fight the vice-presidential election. We will discuss it with our allies and decide," he said.
Meanwhile, JD(U) president and NDA convenor Sharad Yadav said, “President's election was a different ball game. However, for the vice-president’s election, we want a broader unity in the opposition."