As Congress intensified efforts for a consensus candidate for the vice president's post, the Communist Party of India Marxist said it is in favour of a candidate who does not belong to the Congress.
This was conveyed by CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had recently contacted him as part of efforts to seek support of political parties in selection of a candidate in the vice presidential election.
"We have told the prime minister that we would like to have a person who does not belong to the Congress party to be the vice president," Karat told reporters when asked about CPI-M's choice for the post.
Observing that it was for the ruling United Progressive Alliance to decide whom it wants to put forward, the CPI-M veteran said the candidate should also have a "stature and a distinguished background".
The CPI-M leader's observation comes in the midst of the Congress giving broad hints that Hamid Ansari is a frontrunner in the vice presidential race. CPI-M has already extended support to UPA's presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee.