Amid the rift in the National Democratic Alliance over the Presidential election, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal (United) on Friday appealed to each other to review their decision on the issue of backing Pranab Mukherjee’s candidature for the post.
“We also appeal to the BJP to back the candidature of a seasoned and experienced politician like Pranab Mukherjee so that a person with intelligence and commitment to the Constitution and Parliamentary democracy occupies the chair of President,” senior JD(U) leader Shivanand Tiwari said.
He was responding to the statement by BJP national spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad, who said, “We appeal to the JD(U) and the Shiv Sena to review their decision to support Mukherjee in the Presidential poll and instead back NDA nominee P.A. Sangma in the election for the top Constitutional post.”
The split in the NDA over the Presidential nominee came out in the open on Thursday, with both the BJP and JD(U) addressing separate press conferences on the issue.
While the former announced its backing to Mr. Sangma’s candidature, the latter declared in unequivocal terms its support to Mr. Mukherjee.
JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, who is also the NDA convener, had, however, sought to make it clear that supporting the UPA candidate does not mean that it will have an impact on the future of the NDA and that the anti-Congressism of his party will remain.
Mr. Yadav had said that his party was supporting Mr. Mukherjee’s candidature as it feels that after A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s exit from the race, there is no point in the contest and that there should be a consensus on the President’s election.