New Delhi: After the snub from ally, BJP on Wednesday 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. READ MORE:BJP, JD(U) to patch up on Prez nominee ‘NDA to consult allies on Prez nominee’
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.
LK ADVANI INTERVENTION
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 on Tuesday 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) BACKS ANSARI
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.
ROLE OF REGIONAL PARTIES: GADKARI
"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. Without getting into a discussion on Swaraj's remarks about Ansari, Gadkari said he will talk to Sharad Yadav and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
CONGRESS ATTEMPTS FOR CONSENSUS
Meanwhile, the Congress said it will hold talks with BJP to build a consensus on the Presidential candidate but made it clear that the party was "not afraid of contest".
"It is always nicer when we get consensus and could move together. Otherwise, no one is afraid of any contest. We hope to have a consensus. That is our aspiration. If that does not happen then there are other options as per the book," party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary told reporters here. She was responding to questions on whether Congress is ruling out contest for the top job by repeatedly stressing on its desire for "widest possible consensus" on the issue.
To a specific question on whether Congress was open to talking to BJP to forge a consensus, Chowdhary said, "You do not achieve anything by not being open. Our hands are always extended...we never said we will not talk to them (BJP).... We will definitely talk to BJP.n "After all nothing happens without talks. We will talk to everybody. Our door is open for all."
When pointed out that BJP has been saying that Congress is yet to hold talks with the Opposition on the issue, Chowdhary said that consultations have just begun and the party will be talking to the BJP and other Opposition parties on the issue at an appropriate time.
Asked whether any candidate was "untouchable" to Congress against the backdrop of BJP preferring APJ Abdul Kalam for the country's top job, Chowdhary said, "Yes, because there is no such thing as untouchable. It is an obsolete and damned word (in our Constitution) and does not exist".
Asked about Swaraj's comment on Ansari, she said "that is unfortunate. BJP has already spoken on it. Speaking about it is not dignified." She added that if somebody was sitting on the Vice President's chair, "he has already got that stature".
RJD leader Laloo Prasad Yadav reiterated his party's view that Ansari should be made President. "He is the most deserving candidate to be the President."
New Delhi: After the snub from ally, BJP on Wednesday 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.
READ MORE:BJP, JD(U) to patch up on Prez nominee
‘NDA to consult allies on Prez nominee’