New Delhi: Amid signs that Congress is keen to continue with Hamid Ansari as the Vice-President, reports claimed on Thursday the Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal (United) are also in favour of his candidature.
Samajwadi party’s support was expected given its recent bonhomie with the ruling party over Pranab Mukherjee’s presidential bid. Moreover, the party would also hope to please its Muslim voters by favouring Ansari.
JD(U) may also have the Muslim voters in mind if it decides to back Ansari. Although, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said that no decision has been taken and all reports on the matters are only speculative in nature.
Kumar said that party chief Sharad Yadav has been authorised to hold discussions with other parties.
However, as JD(U) had decided to break ranks with the NDA in deciding Pranab Mukherjee, it would be no surprise if the Bihar-based party would want to carry out a similar move in the vice presidential elections.
Also, CPI(M), which had backed Pranab Mukherjee, has declared that it is not in favour of a Congress candidate for the post of Vice President.
Party general secretary Prakash Karat said, “We have told the Prime Minister that we would like to have a person (as Vice President) who does not belong to the Congress party, now it is up to them.”
However, the fact remains that the UPA itself is a deivided house over the issue. As in Presidential poll, the Trinamool Congress appears to have made up its mind to oppose Ansari.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is reportedly not happy with the way Ansari played his role as Rajya Sabha Chairman during the Lokpal debate late last year.
Her party instead wants former West Bengal governor Gopal Krishna or Krishna Bose as the next Vice President.
The picture is expected to get clear on July 14 when the UPA will meet to decide on endorsing Ansari’s name.
In a bid to seek Mamata’s support, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called up the West Bengal Chief Minister, yesterday, and requested her to attend the crucial UPA meet on Saturday.