Apr 30, 2012, 09.31 PM IST | Source: IBNLive.com

Presidential race heats up as BJP rules out Pranab

BJP on Monday made its stand clear, ruling out support for any Congress Presidential candidate candidate including Pranab Mukherjee and Hamid Ansari.

As the Congress tries to build a consensus over the Presidential candidate, the BJP on Monday made its stand clear, ruling out support for any Congress candidate including Pranab Mukherjee and Hamid Ansari.

While the Congress is yet to take a firm decision, the BJP has already rejected the two names of Pranab and Vice President Hamid Ansari, sensing that the UPA may find it difficult to convince its allies.

BJP leader and Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj said, "If a name is supported by Mamata Banerjee and Sharad Pawar, we will support it. If Mulayam Singh Yadav takes Kalam's name, then we can respond favourably."

BJP's Chief Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "Sushma's statement is the line of the party. Congress should understand that country will not accept its candidate. They should also understand the numbers."

Over the past 24 hours, Defence Minister AK Antony has held consultations with the DMK, Sharad Pawar has met Sonia Gandhi in a clear sign that the UPA was wooing other parties too. BSP supremo Mayawati was given 15 minutes to speak in Parliament on Monday.

But in a new twist, former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma's daughter, Agatha is angling for her own father for the top post. For her, Pranab is an indispensable finance minister. Pranab himself has dismissed it all as mere speculation.

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