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Presidential poll: Left, SP come closer to UPA

The Samajwadi Party and the CPI(M) have indicated that they are seeking an overall consensus on the issue of election of the next President and asked the Congress to take an initiative in building a consensus on the candidate for the Presidential election. Mamata throws surprise on Pranab Mukherjee

delhi Updated: May 03, 2012 18:01 IST
presidential eleciton,pratibha patil,Samajwadi Party

Holding that the President should always be a political person, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday refused to express his opinion on probable candidates for the forthcoming election to the country's highest office.

"We cannot discuss Presidential election at this moment, When candidates are announced, then you can take my view," he told reporters outside Parliament House.

Yadav was asked whom his party will support during the Presidential election.

On whether the President should be a person with political background, he said, "The President should always be a political person."

On the other hand, the CPI(M) has asked the Congress to take the initiative in building a consensus on the candidate for the Presidential election though it indicated it was not averse to supporting either Vice President Hamid Ansari or finance minister Pranab Mukherjee for the post.

Party MP and politburo member Sitaram Yechury said the Left parties would discuss the presidential election issue at their meeting on Friday.

"Election of the President with consensus is in the country's favour but if there is no consensus then elections will be held. It is the responsibility of the ruling party to evolve a consensus on the issue. They should take initiative and try to build consensus," he told reporters in New Delhi.

Yechury noted that when APJ Abdul Kalam was fielded in 2002, the Left had nominated Lakshmi Shegal as there was no consensus.

To a question on Left's stand on probable candidates like Ansari and Mukherjee, he said if the Congress has narrowed it down to two names, then Left would like to see on whose name there is consensus.

"That is the best approach. As far as Hamid Ansari is concerned, the Left had proposed his name for Vice Presidentship last time. As far as Pranab Mukherjee is concerned, the name was doing rounds last time also and we said we have no objection," he said.

"The point is not that where we stand, the point is on whose name there is consensus," Yechury said.

Pratibha Patil, the country's first woman President, will demit office on July 25 after completing her five-year term.

Samajwadi Party, which is an outside supporters of UPA, had on Tuesday said that it would favour an eminent Muslim candidate for the top post.

First Published: May 03, 2012 14:28 IST