No decision on Prez nominee yet, talks on: Nitish



Zeenews Bureau

Patna: Stressing that a consensus must be reached on the name of Presidential nominee, JD (U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said that his party has not taken any decision yet.

Speaking at a press conference here, the JD (U) leader said that the talks were still going on within NDA on who will be their Presidential candidate.

"Like the other constituents, the JD(U) too will abide by the final decision on the Presidential poll", Kumar told reporters here.

Kumar, however, refrained from clearly spelling out whether his party, JD-U will support a contest against Mukherjee, saying, "There has been free and fair discussion (in the NDA meeting)".

He said, "There is no need for anybody to air their own view on the Presidential poll. It is called oneupmanship".

On senior JD(U) leader Shivanand Tiwari's reported remarks favouring Mukherjee as a consensus candidate, Kumar said that the former had said 'supplementary' things about the Presidential poll that were not reported by the media.

Rubbishing reports that there was any rift within NDA, Nitish said, “We are a part of NDA… it is not appropriate to take a decision while the talks are on within NDA.”

Nitish said that he was talking to everyone within the coalition over the Presidential choice and stressed on the need to build consensus.

“Consensus must be reached for Presidential polls. For that consensus is needed in NDA and until it is reached I should not comment”, Nitish said.

Nitish confirmed that PM Manmohan Singh had called him on phone to seek support for Pranab Mukherjee as the presidential candidate.

“PM spoke with me and other leaders as well to support Pranab Mukherjee. But we have not decided on a future course as yet”, he said.

Earlier reports said that strong reservations from Nitish’s JD (U) over pitting any candidate against Pranab Mukherjee and with BJP keen on PA Sangma as its candidate had caused the NDA meeting, yesterday, to end without any consensus.