NEW DELHI – A Samajwadi Party leader today said his party was in favour of a Muslim candidate occupying the post of the President but maintained that it was against “communalising” the elections for the constitutional office.
SP leader Kamal Farooqi also said parties like SP, BSP and Trinamool Congress can have a consensus in supporting a presidential candidate but added that the idea was not to isolate the UPA.
Noting that SP was in favour of a Muslim candidate as it wants to “promote Muslims” due to its “solid Muslim vote base”, he said names of Vice-President Hamid Ansari, former Rajya Sabha deputy chairman K Rahman Khan and Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi were making the rounds and they were being discussed in media and among people.
Farooqi said favoured the names of Ansari, Khan and Quraishi terming them as “able” people who have proved themselves in their respective fields.
He claimed that there seems to be a “consensus at least among non-NDA parties” and said if a good candidate is available “in the market” then a name could be decided.
Recalling that though SP had supported former President A P J Abdul Kalam for the post in 2002, he was “afraid” that the Congress had certain “inhibitions” about his name this time.
He said the SP will come out with its decision on the name of Presidential candidate shortly.