New Delhi, June 21: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday announced its support to former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma for the presidential election.
The BJP said it would not support the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate Pranab Mukherjee since the ruling combine did not consult the opposition in advance.
“We had two candidates, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (former president) and Sangma. As Kalamji decided not to contest, so the second one was Sangma. We all decided P.A. Sangma is the most suitable candidate, so BJP supports P.A. Sangma as its presidential candidate,” said party leader Sushma Swaraj at a press conference here.
She said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the BJP, could not arrive at consensus on presidential candidate as the Janata Dal (United) and the Shiv Sena could not decide their candidate.
“BJP decided that if UPA wanted a consensus candidate, they should have discussed with us, as consensus has a pre-requisite like Atal Bihari Vajpayee (former prime minister) followed when A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was nominated as a consensus candidate,” Swaraj said.
The announcement comes a day after Sangma resigned from the Nationalist Congress Party to join the presidential race.
The NCP had decided to support the UPA presidential choice in Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, and asked Sangma to follow the party line or face action for indiscipline.