Ansari as VP: PM seeks TMC's support; BJP to contest poll | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Ansari as VP: PM seeks TMC's support; BJP to contest poll

kolkata Updated: Jul 14, 2012 21:10 IST
Manmohan Singh


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday rang up Mamata Banerjee seeking support for the UPA's vice-presidential candidate Hamid Ansari, but was told by the Trinamool Congress supremo that the party's decision would be made known in two or three days.

The BJP, however, has refused to give any committment to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and decided to contest vice-presidential polls. The NDA will meet on July 16 to decide the name of its candidate.

Earlier on the day, Manmohan Singh reached out to BJP seeking the party's support for Hamid Ansari in the vice-presidential poll.

Sources said Singh called BJP president Nitin Gadkari, BJP parliamentary party chief LK Advani, leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her counterpart in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley for support for Ansari who was later declared as the UPA nominee for the post.

Mamata Banerjee has told the Prime minister that she would make her party's stand known within two to three days.

"The Prime Minister telephoned chief minister Mamata Banerjee seeking Trinamool Congress' support for the UPA's vice-presidential candidate Hamid Ansari," the party's Rajya Sabha member Kunal Ghosh said in Kolkata.

Ghosh said that being the second largest ally of the UPA, the party has suggested two names for the post of vice-president at the UPA meeting in Delhi.

After giving anxious moments to UPA over the Presidential election, Trinamool Congress on Saturday kept the ruling coalition guessing on its support to Hamid Ansari in the vice-presidential poll saying it would take a decision later.

"As the agenda of this meeting was not known to us, we proposed two names -- that of Gopal Krishna Gandhi and Krishna Bose -- as candidates for the Vice Presidential election. But as Ansari's name was proposed by the Congress, we said we will take a decision after consulting with our leadership," railway minister Mukul Roy told reporters in New Delhi.

"I will convey today's decision to our party leadership and we will let you know our decision soon," he said in response to questions.

He said two parties at the meeting today had proposed a couple of more names for the vice president's post but did not elaborate.

Stepping up efforts to drum up support for Ansari for a second tenure, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to Mamata Banerjee on Saturday, the second time this week.

On the Presidential poll, Trinamool Congress has maintained silence on whether it would support UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee or abstain and said it would announce its three days ahead of the poll slated for July 19.

Banerjee had earlier said that former West Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi and Krishna Bose, former Trinamool Lok Sabha member and niece of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, could be good candidates for the top posts.

The party has asked all its MPs and MLAs to be present in Kolkata from July 16 onwards. If it decides to vote in the Presidential election, all its electors would exercise their franchise in Kolkata.

They said the Trinamool parliamentary party would meet there on July 17 to decide on the two crucial elections.

Accept my nomination with all humility: Ansari