BJP pulls up Congress over Presidential candidate selection

   Apr 30, 7:52 pm

New Delhi, Apr 26 (ANI): Senior Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday took potshots at the Congress Party over the candidate for the presidential post, saying if the ruling party attempts to make a pure Congressman the President then neither the nation nor the politics of the country is prepared for it.

"The Congress will have to understand one thing that if at the present political scenario they try to make a pure Congressman the President then neither the country is prepared for it nor the politics of the country," said Prasad.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to put up its own candidate for the election, and according to reports may support nuclear scientist APJ Abdul Kalam, who had earlier served as the 11th President of India from July 25, 2002 to July 24, 2007.

The Congress is reportedly backing the candidature of Vice President Hamid Ansari or Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, however, earlier today dismissed media reports, which claimed that he is being considered for the coveted post of the President.

"Don't indulge in speculations," he told the media here.

Meanwhile, Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Rajiv Shukla, also refused to divulge any information on the issue, and said that it was an 'internal' matter of the Congress Party.

"I can't tell you anything about it. These are our internal matters and we are discussing it among ourselves. There is no question of divulging it to the media," said Shukla.

Congress leader Jagdambika Pal also echoed similar sentiments, and urged the political parties to arrive at consensus on this issue.

"He (Pranab Mukherjee) is a great personality, but I think the government will take the opinion of all the political parties and would not take a final decision until a consensus is reached because this a constitutional head's post and he or she will represent the constitution of the country. I think the Congress party is working towards it," said Pal.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony met Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M Karunanidhi at his residence in Chennai yesterday to build a consensus for the Congress-led UPA Government's candidate for the presidential election.

The Congress had earlier held talks with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar. (ANI)

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