V-P candidate: UPA meet on July 14, TMC to attend
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A meeting of the UPA has been convened on July 14 to decide on the vice-presidential candidate amid hints that a second term for Hamid Ansari is a possibility. The meeting assumes significance as Trinamool Congress, which has not yet announced support to Pranab Mukherjee's candidature in the presidential election, will take part in the meet. Trinamool MP Kunal Ghosh said Railway Minister Mukul Roy will be present in the meeting.
"Mukulda is reaching Delhi on July 13 and on the instructions of Mamata Banerjee attend the UPA meeting," said Ghosh.
The TMC has been skipping recent UPA meetings as its equation with the
Congress worsened over the Presidential election. A thaw seems to be in the offing as TMC chief Mamata Banerjee is sending Roy after having received a call from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The move is being regarded as a softening of stand by the TMC. Many also regard this as Mamata's move not to reach a point of no-return at the moment when Central assistance is very much needed to bail debt-ridden Bengal out of the crisis.
The last date for nomination for the Vice-Presidential election, scheduled for August 7, is July 20. The Congress is hopeful of NDA ally JD(U)'s support for Ansari's candidature.
BJP may contest V-P election
The BJP, in its first formal indication, on Wednesday hinted at a contest for the Vice-Presidential election with a rider that a final decision will be taken after consultation with NDA partners. "We (NDA) can definitely contest. Why should we give a walkover to the Congress? But the strategy is yet to be finalised," BJP general secretary and chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters. ENS
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