Congress has propped up Vice-President Hamid Ansari's name for a second term and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has begun the exercise of soliciting support for his candidature.
Singh discussed Ansari's name with former prime minister and Janata Dal - Secular leader H D Deve Gowda on Saturday. JD-S supported Ansari's candidature.
"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called our leader H D Deve Gowda on Saturday and discussed the vice presidential election. Hamid Ansari's name came up during the discussion. Our party fully supports Ansari's candidature," JD-S spokesperson Danish Ali.
Ali made it clear that no other name was discussed during the meeting. "Hamid Ansari's name was the only name that was discussed and no other name came up during the discussion," Ali said.
He also said that it is very natural for an incumbent vice president to get a second term.
Ansari's name was also discussed by the Congress for the President's post along with that of Pranab Mukherjee. However, Mukherjee was chosen as the United Progressive Alliance's nominee for the Presidential election.
The name of Ansari has been doing the round for the vice presidential election for quite a few days. A section in the Congress feels that Ansari's second term as vice president will send a good signal to minorities.
The vice presidential election is slated to be held on August 7. Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has not suggested any names for the post as the party does not have the requisite numbers..
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance was divided on the Presidential poll, with two of its allies Janata Dal United and Shiv Sena backing Pranab Mukherjee's candidature while BJP and Akali Dal supported Opposition nominee PA Sangma.
During the run-up to the Presidential election, names of BJP leader Jaswant Singh and Punjab Chief Minister and Akali Dal president Prakash Singh Badal came up as probable VP candidates from the opposition camp.