It wants to ensure that there is no division now within NDA ranks

Hours after the UPA announced that it would field Hamid Ansari for a second term as Vice-President, the BJP on Saturday made it known that it would not let the election go uncontested.

However, the party is cautious about the strategy and possible nomination. After the embarrassment it faced on the issue of presidential candidate, the BJP wants to ensure that there is no division now within NDA ranks.

The BJP will decide its strategy after consultations with NDA constituents.

PM calls up Advani

NDA working chairman and senior BJP leader L.K. Advani, who received a call from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the candidature of Mr. Ansari, is said to have told him that the ruling alliance went ahead with its choice without consulting the Opposition.

The Prime Minister informed BJP president Nitin Gadkari also of the UPA decision.

Nitish non-committal

The Janata Dal (United), which broke ranks with the NDA and decided to back the UPA’s Pranab Mukherjee for President, was believed to have been non-committal on the vice-presidential election when Dr. Singh called up its leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Earlier, Mr. Kumar went public that the JD(U) would support Mr. Ansari for President.

There is speculation that the NDA could consider fielding its convener and JD(U) president Sharad Yadav.

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