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Race to Raisina Hill: Lalu backs Hamid Ansari as presidential candidate

New Delhi , Tue, 24 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Apr 24 (ANI): With the five-year term of President Pratibha Devisingh Patil drawing to a close in July this year, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad on Tuesday said Vice President Hamid Ansari should become the country's next president.

"Our Vice President Hamid Ansari should be made the president. He is a good candidate for the president's post. He should be upgraded as president," Lalu told media outside Parliament.

Asked about his party's stand on former President APJ Abdul Kalam, Lalu said, "Kalam has already been president. Now, Ansari should be made because he is an able person and his performance has also been the best in the Rajya Sabha."

Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati is keeping her cards on the issue close to her chest, saying that her party would deliberate only after the names for the post are out.

Earlier, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Sharad Yadav said it is not the correct time to comment on the presidential candidate, and added that his party would react only after taking the views of the allies.

"He (Sharad Pawar) has given a suggestion. There have been no talks on this within our party or the NDA. It is suggestion. So, it is not the right time to comment on it. There will be a variety of discussions. It is a big election. We will take this issue forward only after discussions and views of the allies," said Yadav.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury said there has been a lot of interest in speculation on the presidential election. He, however, said nothing in this regard was formal till now.

"Nothing has come to us formally so far. There is naturally a lot of interest in speculation on the presidential election. It happens every five years beginning in the month of April-May and goes on till the elections," said Yechury.

According to media reports, some of the possible contenders for the post include APJ Abdul Kalam, current finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister's Advisor Sam Pitroda and Infosys' Narayan Murthy. (ANI)


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