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Pawar for non-political person as President

MUMBAI: Agriculture Minister and key UPA leader Sharad Pawar today favoured a non-political candidate as the next President in view of the fact that UPA and NDA did not have the strength to el

Published: 23rd April 2012 01:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 07:42 PM   |  A+A-

MUMBAI: Agriculture Minister and key UPA leader Sharad Pawar today favoured a non-political candidate as the next President in view of the fact that UPA and NDA did not have the strength to elect their own nominee.

Becoming the first UPA leader to express in public his preference for the presidential candidate, Pawar denied that his NCP had endorsed P A Sangma as a possible contender.

"Both UPA and NDA don't have the required numbers to ensure that the candidate of their choice gets elected as the next President. Hence, I feel that a non-political person can be an ideal choice," Pawar told reporters here.

He was responding to a question whether NCP had suggested the name of the former Lok Sabha Speaker as a candidate.

"We have a total of 16 MPs and know our limitations. All political parties should initiate a dialogue to find out a consensus candidate on merit, who does not have political background," Pawar said, denying that NCP had put forward Sangma's name.

His remarks came close on the heels of Congress saying that it has not so far started any discussion on the issue and would work for a consensus in the matter.

The names of Vice President Hamid Ansari and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee are doing the rounds as nominees for the top post which falls vacant on July 24 when Pratibha Patil's term ends.

A new Vice-President has to be eleted by August and a section of the opposition is favouring a 'give and take' approach between the UPA and NDA.

The Congress has 31 per cent of the total votes against 24 per cent of the BJP in an electoral college that is expected to be of the size of 10,98,882. The UPA has a little over 40 per cent of the total votes against 57 per cent it had in the last elections. The NDA has less than 30 per cent.

Hence, the role of parties like TMC, SP, AIADMK, BSP and BJD assumes significance. Two key UPA allies Trinamool Congress and DMK have not yet disclosed their stand on the issue.



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