The Congress on Friday warned the National Democratic Alliance that it would put up its own vice-presidential candidate if the latter unilaterally announced its nominee.
"We deplore the confrontational approach of [Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand] Advani on the question of the vice-presidential poll," chief spokesman S Jaipal Reddy told reporters. "We have been all along keen on getting a consensus evolved for the vice-president's post.
"Since Advani has ruled out consultation with the Opposition, we will be fielding our own candidate."
Reddy said the Congress would consult the other secular opposition parties on the issue. "We will talk to all those who are interested in opposing a one-sided choice," he said.
Asked about the role of the NDA partners, he said, "The so-called secular partners of the Bharatiya Janata Party are still in a daze [over the BJP's growing dominance]. Our own understanding is that the NDA partners are under the complete domination of the BJP."
Asked whether the Congress would again play second fiddle in the choice of the opposition's vice-presidential candidate, he replied, "Agreeing to a firmly reasonable way is not playing second fiddle."
Asked how the Congress would interact with the Left on the issue, he said, "I don't foresee any difficulty with the Left parties. We will be choosing a common candidate with [them]."
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