BJP discusses names floated by Mamata, Mulayam

BJP discussed the candidature of PM Manmohan Singh along with two others floated by UPA-supporting parties TMC and SP.

New Delhi: BJP on Wednesday discussed the candidature of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with two others floated by UPA-supporting parties Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party but decided to adopt a wait-and-watch approach till Congress finalises its name for the post.

The party`s core group, which met under the chairmanship of BJP president Nitin Gadkari, discussed the development after SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee sought support of various parties for their three candidates - Manmohan Singh, A P J Abdul Kalam and Somnath Chatterjee.

While BJP leaders L K Advani, M Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley were not present at today`s core group meeting, among those present were Sushma Swaraj, Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajnath Singh and Ram Lal. Advani and Naidu were in Chennai, party leaders said.

"We discussed the Presidential poll at the BJP core group meeting. We analysed whatever discussions for the Presidential poll were held between UPA allies today. We discussed and thought over the names floated by both the parties supporting UPA. Congress should come out with its view first... We will discuss this in NDA meeting and then come out with our view," Ananth Kumar, convener of BJP Parliamentary party, told reporters after the meeting.
Kalam, who was NDA`s choice for the President`s post in 2002, was also favoured initially by BJP for the top post this time around. NDA had also unsuccessully pushed for his candidature for a second term in 2007.

Kalam, however, has maintained he would agree to enter the fray only if there is consensus on his name.
PTI