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Jul 16, 2012 at 12:43pm IST

Vice President poll: NDA names Jaswant Singh its candidate

New Delhi: The NDA on Monday named Jaswant Singh its Vice President candidate. Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani said that JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav did not want to contest the Vice President poll.

"We are disinclined towards UPA's Vice President candidate Hamid Ansari. Sushma Swaraj had spoken to Sharad Yadav. But he had refused to accept our proposal of being a candidate for the post. Jaswant Singh will be our candidate for the Vice President's post," Advani said.

Sources say Sharad Yadav refused to contest as he believes he still has a long political career left, whereas Jaswant Singh did not have a long political career ahead.

Reacting to his nomination, Jaswant Singh said, "I am honoured with the responsibility given to me."

Jaswant Singh, who has recently been reinstated in the BJP, has limited options within the party. After BJP's 2009 Lok Sabha debacle, Jaswant Singh had not been given any political profile in BJP.

It is believed that Jaswant could lobby the Thakur votes from across political spectrum.

Jaswant Singh, one of BJP's senior most leaders, is a BJP MP from Darjeeling. He served as the Finance Minister in 1996 and 2002 to 2004. He also served as the Defence Minister from 2000 to 2001.

Jaswant Singh was the External Affairs Minister from 1998 to 2002.

NDA ally JD(U) may support UPA's nominee Hamid Ansari:

Sources say the JD(U) may break ranks with the NDA like it did on the Presidential nominee issue. Sources say it is looking at Hamid Ansari's candidature favourably and may vote for him.

Meanwhile, the CPM may also support UPA's nominee. The other Left parties are yet to announce their stands.

Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj party are also said to be in favour of allowing Hamid Ansari a second term.

However, there is no word yet on whether Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will support him, after her choice Gopal Gandhi opted out on Sunday.

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