K.V. Prasad

NEW DELHI: As the countdown for the Vice Presidential elections begins, the understanding between the United Progressive Alliance and the Left parties is that the latter would initiate the exercise of formalising a candidate.

Sources in the Left parties said the exercise would get under way sometime after the election of President on July 19.

Wide acceptability

One of the main criteria in the election of Vice President, the sources said, is to have a candidate whose acceptability is widest in the electoral college, consisting of Members of Parliament.

Unlike the Presidential election, that is witnessing a three-way division with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Opposition backing Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and the United National Progressive Alliance deciding to abstain, the effort is to have a maximum across-the-board support.

Even though the UNPA on Saturday said the formation would like to contest the Vice Presidential election, some constituents in the alliance including the Telugu Desam Party have indicated that they would not mind supporting a Left candidate.

The Left parties have yet to hold any discussion on the subject and it is understood that it did not figure in the meeting of the CPI National Council that concluded here on Saturday.

Consultations may be over by the next weekend, since July 23 is the last date for filing of nomination for the Vice President election.

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