The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is closely watching the developments on the presidential elections and will wait for the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to announce its candidate, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani said Friday.
Addressing the media after an NDA meeting, Advani said: “Let them (UPA) announce. We will closely watch every development.”
The veteran leader said no name had been narrowed down on, though all names were discussed. He, however, reiterated the party’s declared stand that they will not support a Congress candidate.
Asked if the opposition will field a candidate, Advani said: “There is nothing wrong in a contest, it is a democracy,” adding that no decision had been taken on it as yet.
Sources in the BJP said the attempt was to zero in on a candidate with maximum acceptability by the NDA allies as well as other non-Congress parties.
Another meeting of the NDA is on the cards soon, and a meeting of its chief ministers could be called as well.
“We will continue to watch the developments and if a decision is to be taken by us and it can contribute to a sound decision so far as the president is concerned…we will take it later… We will assemble later and maybe we will like to consult our chief ministers and call them here,” Advani said.
The meeting which started around 11 a.m. and around 12.30 p.m. NDA convenor Sharad Yadav, BJP President Nitin Gadkari, Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh, the Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, the Akali Dal’s Naresh Gujral and the Janata Party’s Subramanian Swamy attended the meeting.
Advani also compared the present presidential elections with that of 1969, when prime minister Indira Gandhi’s call for a conscience vote led to the defeat of Congress candidate Neelam Sanjiva Reddy and the election of V.V. Giri, the then vice president who had stood as an independent.
“We will try to impress upon the government that as a result of the confusion and lack of coherence and distrust within in the ruling hierarchy, our economy has suffered badly and because of the way in which presidential elections are being held even the polity can be damaged,” he said.
Advani said that if the government really wants to correct the situation it can consult all political parties on the presidential elections.