New Delhi: The ongoing Presidential race has divided parties and alliances across the political spectrum which are facing a piquant situation following revolt by their constituents over the choice of candidate.
The NDA is expected to meet on Wednesday to finalise its candidate. Sources said that the BJP wants a contest against UPA's nominee Pranab Mukherjee, the only option being PA Sangma. However, the JD(U) and Shiv Sena have openly supported Pranab.
The NDA is facing troubles despite a dominant section in the BJP as well as its patron RSS in favour of a contest, ally Shiv Sena declared its support for Pranab Mukherjee while another constituent of the Opposition alliance JD-U stopped short of making its support to UPA nominee public.
On Monday, BJP MP Maneka Gandhi batted for Pranab Mukherjee hailing him as an "excellent candidate" for the post even as BJP is yet to firm a position on either contest or consensus on the Presidential election. Gandhi said the election of the President should be by a consensus.
An NDA ally leader speaking on condition of anonymity said "there are two views within the BJP, there are many views within the NDA over the President election".
The ruling UPA had earlier experienced the most dramatic turn of events with eight-year-old ally Trinamool Congress rejecting the official nominee of the alliance Pranab Mukherjee and backing a candidate in APJ Abdul Kalam, who refused to contest finally.
As Congress is still hopeful of mollifying Banerjee to vote for its nominee, Shakeel Ahmad, AICC in-charge of West Bengal expressed confidence "Mamata Banerjee was our valued ally, Mamata Banerjee is our valued ally and Mamata Banerjee will remain our valued ally".
His comments came days after party general secretary Digvijaya Singh slammed Banerjee's "erratic" and "immature" handling of the Presidential election issue.
Samajwadi Party, which is supporting the government from outside, made curious twists and turns by first joining hands with Banerjee in rejecting the UPA nominees and then rallying behind Pranab.
With Additional Inputs from PTI