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NDA not to back Pratibha Patil
June 15, 2007 00:28 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi spoke to senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee over the phone on Thursday night, seeking the NDA's support for UPA's choice of Presidential nominee, Pratibha Patil.
However, they were rebuffed by the Opposition leader who said the Opposition alliance has its own candidate.
Vajpayee, chairperson of main Opposition NDA, told Dr Singh and Gandhi that UPA had declared its candidate without consulting NDA, which has its candidate and is therefore 'unable' to back the ruling coalition's nominee.
Gandhi told Vajpayee that it was for the first time that she had sought support from him but the former prime minister turned down the request saying 'you announced the candidate without taking our opinion', a statement issued by BJP late on Thursday night said.
'Besides, we too have our candidate and we are, therefore, unable to support you', the statement quoted Vajpayee as telling the Congress president.
BJP chief Rajnath Singh, said the statement, ruled out a consensus from the Opposition side on the UPA's candidate, saying the request from the ruling alliance had come only after it had finalised its candidate for the higest office and it, too, has its own nominee.