July 17: The newly formed third front - UNPA, yesterday announced the name of Rasheed Masood as its candidate for the Vice Presidential election. On Monday while making this announcement Samajwadi party leader Amar Singh also made it clear that they will seek the support neither of UPA nor that of NDA. Hence the coming presidential election seems a clear-cut triangular fight.
Rasheed Masood, former Union Minister is a five time MP from Saharanpur and a senior leader of Samajwadi Party.
However, the eight party outfit has decided to stay away from the Presidential election but wants to field its nominee in VP poll to register its identity. The front is also well aware of the fact that it is difficult to win the second highest constitutional post without the support of UPA or NDA.
Meanwhile, the left parties have also made it clear that the UPA’s candidate for the Vice Presidential pool will be a person of non-political arena with strong secular credential and has started consensus with other parties.
Left parties have also suggested some names including the Jamia Millia Vice Chancellor Mushirul Hasan, Justice K Ramaswamy and eminent historian Irfan Habib.
Reportedly, the BJP is planning to field former Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Najma Heptullah for VP post. Heptullah, formerly a congress leader shifted to BJP in 2004 after some conflict with the party members.
UNPA candidate Rasheed Masood started his political career as a supporter of Bharatiya Lok Dal and was also a minister in the VP Singh government. Now he is a senior leader of Samajwadi Party.
However, a few months back he was in controversy for his alleged refusal to sing Vande Mataram citing that the Muslim religion does not permit this. Even on yesterday while talking in a television interview he made it clear that he stands by his earlier decision of not singing Vande Mataram.
With this kind of statement, it is clear that UNPA is just trying to gain political mileage by drawing the attention of Muslims. Well whatever the reason, the vice presidential election seems to be straight fight among UPA, NDA and UNPA.
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