BJP may accept Pranab as President

Senior BJP leader Kirti Azad has accepted that Pranab has it what it takes to be the next President of India.

Updated: May 04, 2012, 15:02 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: In a clear signal of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee emerging as the frontrunner in the race to Raisina Hill, a senior BJP leader has accepted that Pranab has it what it takes to be the next President of India.

Talking to reporters on Friday, party MP Kirti Azad said that no one can deny Pranab Mukherjee’s candidature. “He is a good politician, there’s no two opinion on that. However, the decision (of supporting Pranab) will be taken by the NDA.”

Azad’s statement gains importance as Sushma Swaraj, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, had said that the BJP did not approve of the candidature of either Pranab Mukherjee or Vice President Hamid Ansari. Her point was that while Mukherjee was a Congress leader, Ansari did not have the “stature".
Her statement had created a rift within the NDA following which the BJP had been avoiding to take the lead in identifying a consensus candidate.

The Janata Dal (United) occupied the space vacated by the BJP and took on the onus of liaisoning with other parties for achieving broad consensus on the matter.

The overwhelming view being that the JD (U) is pushing the BJP to accept the consensus candidate even if it is the Congress’ choice. As a pointer to this new line of though, senior JD (U) leader Shivanand Tewari had said both Ansari and Mukherjee were widely acceptable candidates.

And today, senior JD (U) leader and NDA Convenor Sharad Yadav met Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Lalu Prasad Yadav to discuss the matter.

Post the meeting, Mulayam said, “It does not matter whether the Presidential candidate is
from minority community, backward or scheduled caste.”