New Delhi: The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will seek the support of the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Orissa and West Bengal in the vice-presidential elections.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is fielding former finance minister Jaswant Singh. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is backing vice-president Hamid Ansari for a second term.
A file photo of former finance minister Jaswant Singh.
“Some BJP leaders will soon meet Jayalalithaa (Tamil Nadu chief minister). In a recent NDA meeting it was decided to reach out to Orissa and West Bengal chief ministers (Navin Patnaik and Mamata Banerjee),” said a BJP leader, who didn’t want to be identified. “We are also seeking support of independent MPs (members of Parliament) as well.”
The vice-presidential elections are conducted differently from the presidential elections, with members of both houses casting votes. The Lok Sabha has 543 members and the Rajya Sabha, 245.
The vice-presidential elections will be held on 7 August.
In presidential elections last month, the NDA was embarrassed after its allies Shiv Sena and Janata Dal (U) voted in favour of Congress candidate Pranab Mukherjee.
West Bengal’s Banerjee initially opposed Mukherjee for the post before deciding finally to support him.