New Delhi: NDA on Thursday got another jolt in the Presidential race with JD(U) becoming the second NDA ally after Shiv Sena to break ranks with BJP to support UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee.

READ MORE: BJP backs Sangma as presidential candidate

The announcement was made by party president Sharad Yadav close on the heels of BJP declaring support to P A Sangma who had resigned from membership of UPA ally NCP on Wednesday.

"Our party is against any contest now. Till A P J Abdul Kalam was the candidate, we were ready for a contest," he told reporters. Kalam had decided not to contest the poll.

Yadav, however, took pains to emphasis that they are part of NDA but under the present circumstances, they are backing a candidate on whom a "consensus" has been arrived at.

"We are not supporting a Congress candidate. Under the present circumstances, we are supporting a UPA candidate for whom there is a consensus," he said.

The JD(U) chief said there was a consensus within the NDA till former President Kalam was in the race. "However, after Kalam's exit, there were different opinions and names," he said.

Soon after BJP announced support for Sangma, the former Lok Sabha Speaker had appealed to JD(U) and Shiv Sena to back him.

The JD(U) chief stressed that this was not the first time when different political parties in an alliances have taken separate decisions on Presidential poll issue.

Yadav said that his party supporting 77-year-oldMukherjee does not mean any divide in NDA. He said that ruptures in an alliance do not happen on the election of President which is a constitutional post.

He said that his party has been of the view since the beginning that the election of President should happen with consensus.

"There will be a tough situation in 2014 in the country and only a person who understands the nation's pulse should be sitting there (in Rashtrapati Bhavan). We were ready for a contest as long as Kalam's name was there," he said.

Yadav put the blame on UPA for non-emergence of a consensus on the issue of President's election, saying, the ruling alliance did not take any initiative to achieve it as NDA had done in 2003, when Kalam became President.

The NDA convenor said that it takes time to make a consensus in the country which is full of internal differences.

"It would have been better had President been elected with consensus. But the ruling alliance could not do it. They did not try to take other parties into confidence before announcing the name as NDA had done in past.

"They approached the Opposition only after announcing the name of their candidate. BJP is the main opposition party and they did not talk even to them. They should have talked to BJP before announcing the name in the true democratic tradition," Yadav said.


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