JD-U to support Pranab for presidency (Lead)

June 21st, 2012 - 4:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) The Janata Dal-United (JD-U) Thursday announced its support to United Progressive Alliance (UPA) presidential candidate Pranab Mujherjee, saying it was in favour of the president being elected unopposed.

Soon after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pledged its support to former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma, JD-U chief Sharad Yadav said his party “has decided to support UPA’s candidate (Pranab Mukherjee) for president”.

Yadav, however, said their support was not to Congress but for developing a consensus on Mukherjee.

“In tune to the present political situation, our support is to Pranab Mukherjee, but we are not supporting Congress,” he said.

He also said that “there is no threat to the alliance (National Democratic Alliance)”.

Taking BJP’s side, the JD-U chief said it was the ruling alliance’s fault that they did not approach the opposition for developing a consensus.

“They should have approached the main opposition party BJP at least. When we made (A.P.J. Abdul) Kalam the candidate, before declaring it, we talked to them (the then opposition),” Yadav said.

While maintaining that the alliance was strong as ever, Yadav said such situations had arisen before.

“We were against Congress and will be. But looking at 2014, a difficult situation may arise with so many small parties. We need some one who knows the nation in the president’s office,” he said.

Yadav also said that a consensus was arrived at on Kalam’s name, and Shiv Sena was also ready.

However, after Kalam backed out, they did not want to support Sangma.

He did not give a reason why the party was not supporting Sangma.

Asked for a clarification over whether they will vote in favour of Mukherjee or abstain, he evaded a direct reply, saying: “People of this country are smart enough to understand what I mean.”

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