After announcing its support for the UPA’s presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee, the CPI(M) on Thursday said it would favour a non-Congress candidate for the Vice-President.

Talking to journalists here, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said his party had conveyed this to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“It is for the UPA to decide whom they want to put forward,” said Mr. Karat, who is here to attend the party’s Tamil Nadu State committee meeting.

“The candidate should also have stature and a distinguished background,” he noted.

Mr. Karat’s observation comes in the wake of reports that the Congress was planning to re-nominate incumbent Hamid Ansari.

The CPI(M) leader refused to comment on inner-party squabbling in Kerala.

He also parried a question on the controversy surrounding Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s comments on price rise and the middle class.

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