Prez polls: Karat, Yechury meet Mulayam, Pawar



New Delhi: Left parties on Friday held preliminary discussions on Presidential elections and decided to consult with "secular opposition" parties before taking a final stand on the candidate and met.

The parties favoured a wide agreement on a candidate for the President's election.

CPI(M) leaders Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury met Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. Yechury later met NCP chief Sharad Pawar separately discussing the Presidential poll issue.

The meeting held at the CPI(M) headquarters here was attended by CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat and his party colleagues Sitaram Yechury and S Ramachandran Pillai, CPI's A B Bardhan Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja and Forward Bloc's Debabrata Biswas.

RSP's TJ Chandrachoodan was contacted over phone and the leaders discussed the issue with him.

"Left parties held a preliminary discussion on the forthcoming Presidential election. It would be better if there is a wide agreement on a candidate for the post of President.

"The Left parties decided to consult with other secular opposition parties before taking a final stand in the matter," Bardhan told reporters after the meeting.

Asked whether the Left is ready to support Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, he said no names were discussed in the meeting.

"We have not zeroed in on any names. Don't try to impose any name on me," Bardhan said when reporters repeatedly asked him whether the Left will support Mukherjee.

Queried whether Left parties will hold discussions with Congress on the issue, he said "I have specifically said we will discuss it with secular opposition parties. Does that include Congress?"

Bardhan said the Left will meet again this month-end to deliberate on the issue.

PTI