New Delhi, July 9 - Congress has propped up Vice-President Hamid Ansari's name for a second term with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh beginning the exercise to solicit support for his candidature.
Singh discussed Ansari's name with former Prime Minister and JD-S leader HD 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 told PTI.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 incumbent Vice-President to get a second term. Ansari's name was also discussed by the Congress for President's post along with that of Pranab Mukherjee. However, Mukherjee was chosen as the UPA nominee for the Presidential election.
The name of Ansari was 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. There has been no name for the Vice-Presidential election from the BJP and there is a view in the opposition party that they should not take the risk of fielding a candidate when it does not have the numbers.
NDA was divided on the Presidential poll with two of its allies JD-U 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 V-P candidates from the opposition camp. PTI