New Delhi: Even as the NDA stands divided on the issue of Presidential poll, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday announced support to PA Sangma’s candidature.
Addressing a joint press conference with other senior party leaders, Sushma Swaraj said that the BJP has decided to support Sangma.
She said that Sangma is a tall leader in national politics and the tallest leader from the North East and that he had an illustrious tenure as speaker of the Lok Sabha.
“We decided to put up a fight in the presidential poll and give no walkover to Congress. We are happy that Jayalalithaa and Naveen Patnaik proposed his name…we also feel happy to extend support (to Sangma),” she said.
Arguing in favour of not going for a consensus on the name of Pranab Mukherjee – despite Shiv Sena and JD(U)`s decision to support him – Sushma said that the UPA is at fault on not seeking consensus in the right spirit.
Sushma took on the UPA by pointing out that consensus was sought on the name of Pranab Mukherjee after his name was announced.
She said, “A perquisite for consensus is prior consultation, like what BJP did at the time of nomination of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. We should have been told about it but they did not do it, so we decided to put up a fight.”
The leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha also praised Mamata Banerjee and said that the candidate put up by her was also good. However, as Dr Kalam has decided not to contest the poll, we decided to back Sangma.
She also confirmed that Parkash Singh Badal of the Akali Dal has assured to support BJP’s choice in the presidential race.
Seconding Sushma’s comments, Arun Jaitley said, “…we decided to not to fall in line (with the UPA).”