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UPA Government built no consensus for Prez poll, says Advani

PTI 25 Jun 2012, 16:37:43 IST
New Delhi, June 25: Defending his party's decision to support the Presidential poll contest, BJP leader L K Advani today said the government has to build consensus on the issue and the UPA dispensation made no such effort as it sought support for Pranab Mukherjee only after announcing his candidature.

In his latest blog posting, Advani today said it is “fashionable” these days in political circles to say that election to the high Constitutional office of President should be unanimous and based on consensus between government and the Opposition.

“This question is often hurled at us in the BJP as if by deciding to support P A Sangma, sponsored by two eminent Chief Ministers against Congress' Pranab Mukherji, we are doing something improper.

I hold that the answer to this question depends entirely on the attitude of the ruling party”, Advani said.

Recounting the course of events, Advani said he had received a phone call from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his party's support for Mukherjee within minutes of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi announcing his candidature.

“My comment was: ‘You are now only informing us; would it not have been better if you had consulted the Opposition before making the announcement?' His reaction was: ‘Well, it is never too late to mend',” Advani said.