Badal not NDA nominee for VP's post: Naresh Gujral
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Rajya Sabha member Naresh Gujral rubbished media speculation that Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was in the fray for the vice president's post, saying the latter was extremely happy in his state.chandigarh Updated: Jun 18, 2012 11:06 IST
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Rajya Sabha member Naresh Gujral on Sunday rubbished media speculation that Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was in the fray for the vice president's post, saying the latter was extremely happy in his state.
"I want to make one thing very clear, which is in speculation in the media since yesterday, that Sardar Parkash Singh Badal is not the candidate for the Vice President's post. I want to make this very clear before you that even if he is offered the vice president's post, he will not take it," said Gujral.
"He is very happy in Punjab and the people of Punjab are very happy with his work. He got a majority in the elections. So Sardar Parkash Singh Badal and our party have decided that he will stay in Punjab," he added.
According to certain media reports, NDA was proposing to push Parkash Singh Badal's name as nominee for vice president.
Badal was sworn in as chief minister for the fifth time this year and is regarded as one of the very senior political figures of the country. He is also highly respected by most of the political parties including Congress.
Gujral further said the Shiromani Akali Dal would abide by the decision that the NDA would take.
"The NDA will decide on it. The Akali Dal has always been a disciplined member of NDA. Whatever decisions are taken there (in the NDA meeting), our party will follow it," he said.
To a question on whether the NDA was united to fight the presidential poll, Gujral said: "The NDA was always united and will remain united. In fact, the party will rise to new heights, the Vajpayee era rainbow coalition is again coming back into formation."
The NDA, which is meeting at the moment to finalise its candidate for the July 19 presidential poll, appeared to be a divided house.
There is a section within the NDA, particularly the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), which is of the view that a contest against UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee should be avoided, as the coalition could face embarrassment.
The presidential elections will be held on July 19 and the vote count will take place on July 22.
Pratibha Devisingh Patil's term as President ends on July 24.