Former Rajasthan chief minister and veteran Bharatiya Janata Party politician Bhairon Singh Shekhawat is likely to be the BJP candidate to succeed Krishan Kant as vice-president of India, a source in the party told rediff.com
The election for the vice-president's post will be held almost a month after the election to decide the next President.
Last month, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan had hinted to reporters that "in all probability the next vice-president will be a BJP man".
Shekhawat has not been keeping good health for the last couple of years, but he underwent intense treatment in Bombay Hospital last April.
The party source said Uttar Pradesh Governor Vishnukant Shastri and Madhya Pradesh Governor Bhai Mahavir were also considered for the post, but Shekhawat is likely to be the final choice in view of his seniority, reputation and contribution to the party since its avatar as the Jan Sangh. Besides, he's a close friend of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The source said Union Home Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani too had agreed to the nomination of Shekhawat.
As in the vote on the Prevention of Terrorism Bill in the joint sitting of both Houses, the BJP expects to get parliamentary approval for its candidate without too much trouble. And given the arithmetic in Parliament, the Congress is likely to acquiesce in Shekhawat's election.
The elected members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha together elect the vice-president.
The Presidential Election 2002: The complete coverage
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