New Delhi: In the race to the Rashtrapati Bhavan it was RJD chief Lalu Prasad's turn to make a political statement. The RJD chief said that he was willing to back Vice President Hamid Ansari. But in the Opposition, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj met NDA convenor Sharad Yadav to sort out differences on the Presidential candidate.
This comes a day after cracks appeared in the NDA over Ansari's candidature. The JD(U) had clearly distanced itself from BJP Swaraj's statement opposing both Ansari and Pranab Mukherjee. The NDA partners now seems to be in a damage control mode.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari said, "The next President should be an independent, impartial and a fair person. I will talk to Sharad Yadav and Nitish Kumar. We will not take any decision without consulting the other NDA parties."
The non-UPA parties, especially the Left, are favourably disposed towards Ansari's candidature. For the Samajwadi Party, opposing a minority candidate from Uttar Pradesh would probably not be politically correct and same is the case of the BSP, which is already out of power in UP.
It all boils down to Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who will meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi later this week in Delhi.
While Mamta Banerjee meets the Congress leadership this weekend, the CPM would also be preparing to hold its politburo to finalise its stand on the Presidential polls as the race for the President House for now narrows down to two candidates, APJ Abdul Kalam and Hamid Ansari.