BJP denies rift with JD-U over presidential candidate

New Delhi, May 1: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday denied having any rift with the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) over who would be the opposition’s choice for president after Pratibha Devisingh Patil ends her term in July.

” It was JD-U chief Sharad Yadav’s answer to a question on this particular issue, and he was very categorical in saying that the issue has not been discussed by the NDA. This is what Sushma Swaraj said. So, I think the line taken by both leaders was the same,” BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told media here.

“It is very unfortunate that it has been presented in another way. There is no rift on this particular subject between the JD-U and the BJP. It’s a mere speculation,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Sharad Yadav had said that no discussions had taken place within the opposition alliance over who would be the next president.

Yadav, who is also the convenor of the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA), said the remarks by BJP leader Sushma Swaraj that they could back the candidature of Kalam were the BJP’s views, and not necessarily of other NDA parties.

“It could be a personal view of Sushma, or the BJP. I am not speaking on behalf of the NDA. BJP gave its viewpoint and that’s not our viewpoint,” Yadav told media here.

Sushma Swaraj had on Monday backed Kalam for the post, saying that if the name is supported by Mulayam Singh of the Samajwadi Party, the BJP would support it.

Swaraj refused to accept the names of Vice President Hamid Ansari and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as alternative presidential candidates.

She said that while Pranab Mukherjee was a Congress man, Ansari did not have the stature to be made President. (ANI)