India Politics
UPA-Left to meet Wednesday to discuss presidential candidate
May 12, 2007 - 4:20:09 PM

New Delhi, May 12 - Amid speculation over the possible candidates for the presidential post, the Communist Party of India-Marxist - Saturday said the Left would prefer a 'consensus' on the candidate to the country's top post.

Reiterating that his party would support a candidate with 'impeccable' secular credentials, the CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechury said the ruling United Progressive Alliance - and Left parties would meet Wednesday to discuss their candidate for the coming elections.

'It is not an election in which you should polarise the votes,' Yechury told reporters after releasing the special edition of party mouthpiece 'People's Democracy' to commemorate the 150th year of the first war of independence in 1857.

Yechury said the Left had tried to evolve a consensus in favour of former president K.R. Narayanan when he was to retire in 2002. 'But the --led) NDA - did not agree.'

The Left had then fielded Captain Laxmi Sahgal against A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

'We hope we will not have to take such steps,' Yehcury said.

The CPI-M sources said the Left would field its candidate only if there is a consensus among the United Progressive Alliance - allies.

With the Bahujan Samaj Party - winning clear majority in the Uttar Pradesh elections, the UPA is hopeful that its candidate would be able to gain a clear victory over the opposition NDA's candidate.

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