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BJP for Shekhawat as Prez?
May 15, 2007 14:49 IST
With Uttar Pradesh elections over and new calculations being made, the Bharatiya Janata Party is believed to have made up its mind to field Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat as its candidate for the Presidential elections.
BJP sources said former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, senior party leader Lal Kishenchand Advani and party chief Rajnath Singh met over the weekend to discuss who should be the opposition's candidate for the President's post.
"Shekhawat has emerged as the possible choice for the job," a source close to Singh said. "As far as the incumbent is concerned, he has opted out of the race because there may not be any consensus candidate this time," they said.
The saffron party has its eyes set on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, who has an important role in President's election because of her victory in the state elections.
"The Samajwadi Party would have backed Kalam had it been re-elected to power. But now what is to be seen is what stand Mayawati takes. If she goes with the UPA, it would be a tough contest for the NDA's nominee," the source said.
The BJP has yet to evolve a consensus within the NDA over its choice, given Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar's open support for Kalam.
"But we do not think there would be much of a problem on this front. We hope there will be a consensus in the NDA on Shekhawat," the source added.
The NDA, which is scheduled to meet in the evening at Vajpayee's residence, is likely to discuss the matter.