New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday called NDA Working Chairperson L K Advani, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and BJP chief Nitin Gadkari to seek the Opposition's support for Pranab Mukherjee for the post of President.

Soon after UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi announced Mukherjee's name as the ruling coalition's candidate for the Presidential election, Singh called Advani, Swaraj and Gadkari to seek BJP's support for him.

Sources close to Swaraj said Singh informed her that UPA has decided to field Mukherjee as its candidate for the President's post and appealed for the support of BJP and NDA to him.

"Swaraj said she will definitely convey Singh's message to NDA in its next meeting which will be held soon. She also told him that she will convey to him whatever decision is taken by NDA," a party leader said.

Gandhi announced Mukherjee's candidature today at a meeting of the ruling coalition. All UPA allies, except TMC, extended their support to 77-year-old Mukherjee.

BJP-led NDA has not yet taken a call on the issue. However, there are indications that NDA may still put up a candidate for the Presidential election as it does not want to be seen siding with UPA in view of the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for 2014.

The government has not made any offer of a deal with the Opposition for a quid pro quo on Vice Presidential poll.

BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said UPA should have taken NDA into confidence before declaring its candidate for the Presidential election.

"The NDA will now hold a meeting and then take a decision on the Presidential election," he said.

(Agencies)

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