Special Correspondent

  • To decide whether to field candidate or back independent
  • Arriving at a consensus would be ideal: Naqvi

    BANGALORE: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders are meeting in Delhi on Wednesday to discuss the stand to be taken by them on the presidential election.

    BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told a press conference here on Tuesday that the meeting would discuss various issues, including whether to field their own candidate or support an independent.

    He said arriving at a consensus on the next president would be ideal. But the Congress was not interested in a consensus, and none of the Congress leaders had held consultations with the Opposition on the presidential election. Instead of striving for a consensus, the Congress was trying to dictate terms to the Opposition, he said.

    "The Congress is searching for a Sonia-loyalist President. But the NDA wants a nation-loyalist President. This is the basic difference between the Congress and the Opposition parties on the presidential election," he said.

    The run-up to the presidential election had exposed the real face of the Congress. In its effort to get the stage set for the election of a Sonia-loyalist candidate, the Congress was indulging in dirty politics, besides resorting to underhand agreements and compromises, Mr Naqui alleged. But he did not elaborate his charge.

    When his attention was drawn to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's statement that the third front was ready to support the NDA candidate, he said the BJP was yet to decide on fielding a candidate.

    Mr. Naqvi also maintained that the support extended by the Bahujan Samaj Party to the United Progressive Alliance candidate in the presidential election was not in keeping with the dignity of the top constitutional post.