Notwithstanding a bitterly contested elections in Uttar Pradesh, BJP managers have reached out to Chief Minister Mayawati to know her preference in the election of a new President.
BJP officials said she was told about the NDA’s plan to project Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.
“Mayawati conveyed to us that she would need a few more days to think over,” said a party functionary who did wish to be quoted.
BJP officials, however, got to learn that the BSP chief was not positive to the names of Union Ministers Pranab Mukherjee or Sushil Kumar Shinde, which are doing the rounds among UPA circles.
They said, surprisingly, she was not disinclined to the name of former Uttarakhand Chief Minister ND Tiwari though no party has mentioned his name yet.
Mayawati’s No 2, UP Minister Satish C Mishra, who was in the Capital on Thursday, said she alone would take the call on whom to back as the Presidential candidate.
As BJP managers and JD(U) leader Digvijay Singh talked to National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, party chief Rajnath Singh said the possibilities of a consensus among the political parties on the presidential candidate could not be ruled out.
"NDA has authorised Vajpayee to consult with leaders of other political parties. Within a few days NDA will decide the candidate," Rajnath told reporters at Thiruvananthapuram.