New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) Divided over the presidential poll, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Monday “unanimously” named senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh as its candidate for the vice presidential poll.
Jaswant Singh, who will be contesting against ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate and incumbent Hamid Ansari, has served as the minister of finance, external affairs and defence. His name was announced by senior BJP leader L.K. Advani at a press conference here.
“We have decided not to give them (Congress-led UPA) a walkoverWe have unanimously decided that Jaswant Singh will be our vice presidential candidate,” Advani said soon after the NDA meeting to finalise the name of its nominee ended at his residence here.
Advani also said Janata Dal-United chief Sharad Yadav had been approached to be opposition candidate for the post, but he declined.
“He said it does not suit his nature, he has been in active politics,” said Advani.
The BJP leader said they would now be approaching other non-Congress political parties, including the Trinamool Congress and AIADMK to garner support for Jaswant Singh.
“It is a matter of great respect that the NDA has unanimously chosen me as their candidate for the post of vice president. It is a big responsibility and also a challenge,” Jaswant Singh said.
Addressing reporters at his residence, Jaswant Singh said he would talk to Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee for support.
“I am an MP from West Bengal, so I will seek her support for the vice president poll,” Singh said.
He denied that he was fighting a losing battle.
“This particular election of president and vice president goes beyond number,” he said.
The JD-U and another NDA ally, Shiv Sena, broke ranks with the BJP to support UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee for the July 19 presidential poll. However, the Shiv Sena has indicated it will back the NDA candidate for vice president.In Patna, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said his party endorsed Jaswant Singh’s candidature. “The NDA is united for the vice presidential poll and the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) is with Jaswant Singh” Nitish Kumar told reporters.
The Daily News Post India (tdnpost)