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Rediff.com  » News » Jaswant for veep? Meeting with Mulayam triggers speculation

Jaswant for veep? Meeting with Mulayam triggers speculation

Last updated on: June 12, 2012 14:49 IST
Jaswant Singh on Tuesday met Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav amid speculation that the Bharatiya Janata Party leader could be lobbying for the vice president's post.

When Yadav was meeting yoga guru Ramdev at his residence on the issue of black money in New Delhi this morning, Jaswant Singh drove in and was inside the SP leader's house for 10 minutes.

It is understood that the three discussed the issue of Indian black money stashed away abroad. Jaswant Singh had raised the issue on behalf of the BJP in the Lok Sabha.

The meeting between the SP chief and Jaswant Singh triggered speculation that the BJP leader may be making an effort to lobby for himself as a candidate in the vice presidential poll.

The BJP and National Democratic Alliance have not yet taken a stand on the issue of presidential and vice presidential election candidates.

After the meeting, Yadav came out to see off Jaswant Singh and the two were seen talking one-on-one for some time.

Sources said Jaswant Singh has been lobbying for his candidature for the post of vice president for sometime. He has reportedly discussed the issue within and outside the party.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, whose Shiromani Akali Dal is part of the NDA, has also been talked about as a possible vice presidential candidate.

Ramdev said while he would be meeting Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday, he hoped to meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati in the coming days.

Yadav left the media interaction mid-way to attend a "meeting" even as Ramdev attacked the Centre for slapping several Enforcement Directorate, income tax and service tax notices on his trust.

He said the trust was contesting the case in a tribunal and, if necessary, would move the court against the notices.

Responding to attacks from several Congress leaders, he said he would only react if questions are raised against him by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi.

"These are the leaders who carry weight. I will not respond to attacks by others," he said.

Asked why was he meeting leaders like Sharad Pawar and Ajit Singh when the central government was targeting him, he said such leaders have become a part of the United Progressive Alliance for a "good cause" and were against such attacks.

"Standard and Poor's has threated to downgrade India's credit rating to speculative grade, but the government has no answer. But when we raise issues of public importance, we are termed as anti-nationals," he said.

To a question on the charge-sheet against Delhi police personnel on last year's Ramlila ground crackdown, Ramdev said the city police was in the hands of the ministry of home affairs and his legal battle on the issue would continue.