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BJP goes for damage control on Prez candidate talks

Indore(PTI): After the snub from ally, BJP today sought to do some damage control by attempting a patch up with JD(U) even as party president Nitin Gadkari spoke of approaching some UPA constituents to discuss a possible Presidential candidate.

Gadkari complained that the government had not consulted his party, the principal opposition, on the issue. Had it come up with a name of a person, who is independent, impartial and fair to reach a consensus BJP would have considered it, he said.

A day after differences surfaced in the NDA, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj today met JD (U) Sharad Yadav, who is also the NDA convenor, and is believed to have tried to patch up issues with him on her remarks on the Presidential election.

Sources said the meeting came about after senior BJP leader L K Advani expressed the view that NDA should not appear to be divided on the Presidential candidate.

Differences surfaced in the NDA yesterday over her remarks opposing opposing any Congress move to nominate Pranab Mukherjee or Vice President Hamid Ansari as a candidate.
Yadav took serious objection to her statement saying it was not his party’s views and the issue had so far not been discussed in the NDA.

Sources said after the meeting between Swaraj and Yadav both the parties have agreed not to air views on the issue till a meeting of the NDA is held and a decision is taken on the Presidential candidate.

“What Swaraj had said was the BJP view. The matter had not been discussed with other NDA partners, including JD(U). A meeting of NDA will be held soon to discuss the matter,” a senior BJP leader said.

JD(U) has reportedly conveyed to BJP that Swaraj’s comments that Ansari does not have the stature to be President has put the party in difficulty in Bihar. It has been wooing the sizable minority community in the state and her comments would antagonise them.

It was RJD, JD(U)’s main political adversary in Bihar, was the first to publicly say that Ansari can be a candidate for President.

“Regional parties play an important role in gathering votes. Discussion with them and with their support along with NDA and other small political parties…and some parties under UPA along with their support and common consensus we will decide,” Gadkari told reporters in Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

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