The Left parties, which have been advocating “maximum consensus” to elect a new President, may not be averse to supporting a candidate like Vice-President Hamid Ansari if the Congress comes up with his name.
The Left parties were holding informal discussions with some parties and favoured evolving a consensus on the name of a Presidential nominee, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat told reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The Left parties, which would initiate deliberations among themselves on Friday on the Presidential election, are clear that they would not support former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam whom they had opposed earlier too.
Confirming the meeting, Communist Party of India national secretary D. Raja said the four parties would meet on May 4, 2012 and hold “preliminary consultations” on the matter. “This will be the first occasion when we meet to discuss this issue,” he said.
Observing that the Congress had not yet firmly spelt out the name of a Presidential candidate, Left sources said they had not been approached by the Congress.
While refusing to be drawn into specific names, the CPI(M) has been saying it would support a candidate enjoying “maximum consensus” in the Presidential elections.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury had earlier said the criteria for electing the President should not be on the basis of whether he or she was a political or non-political person, but on the basis of one who enjoys the maximum consensus.
But for this, the process of consultation has to be initiated by the Congress and “more delay will lead to all sorts of speculation“.
Asked whether the Left parties would be agreeable to names like Pranab Mukherjee or Hamid Ansari, the CPI(M) leader had then said: “Why should someone object or not object to anyone.
The ruling party, by delaying discussions, is allowing a lot of speculation. This is not at all healthy“.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat took exception to BJP leader Sushma Swaraj’s reported remarks that Mr. Ansari lacked the stature for the Presidential post.
“It is inappropriate to talk about the stature of the Vice-President,” Ms. Karat said.