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SAD yet to decide on presidential candidate, Left has no objection to Pranab being in race

New Delhi, Tue, 01 May 2012 ANI

New Delhi, May 1 (ANI): The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Tuesday said that it was too early to announce whom it would support as a presidential candidate, while the Left Front said that it would have no objection to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee throwing his hat in the ring.

"It is too early to comment on this. We have not taken decision on the name of candidate. No formal meeting of NDA took place. I can't comment on who will be NDA candidate for President. The BJP have not conveyed officially on this issue. No official communication or proposal has come to us so far," said Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Prakash Karat said that the Left parties were holding informal discussions with some parties and favoured evolving a consensus on the name of a presidential nominee.

The Left parties, which would initiate deliberations among themselves on the presidential election on Friday, are clear that they would not support former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam whom they had opposed earlier too.

Confirming the meeting, Communist Party of India National Secretary D Raja said the four parties would meet on May 4 and hold "preliminary consultations" on the matter.

"This will be the first occasion when we meet to discuss this issue," he said.

Samajwadi Party leader Kamal Farooqi said said his party was in favour of a Muslim candidate occupying the post of president, but maintained that it was against "communalising" the elections for the constitutional office.

Farooqi also said that parties like the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Trinamool Congress can have a consensus in supporting a presidential candidate, but added that the idea was not to isolate the UPA.

He said that names of Vice President Hamid Ansari, former Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan and Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi were making the rounds.

Farooqi said that party favoured the names of Ansari, Khan and Quraishi terming them as "able" people who have proved themselves in their respective fields. (ANI)

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