JD-U to support Pranab in Prez poll

New Delhi: NDA today got another jolt in the Presidential race with JD(U) becoming the second NDA ally after Shiv Sena to break ranks with BJP to support UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee.

The announcement was made by party president Sharad Yadav close on the heels of BJP declaring support to P A Sangma who had resigned from membership of UPA ally NCP yesterday.

“Our party is against any contest now. Till A P J Abdul Kalam was the candidate, we were ready for a contest,” he told reporters. Kalam had decided not to contest the poll. Yadav, however, took pains to emphasis that they are part of NDA but under the present circumstances, they are backing a candidate on whom a “consensus” has been arrived at.

“We are not supporting a Congress candidate. Under the present circumstances, we are supporting a UPA candidate for whom there is a consensus,” he said.

The JD(U) chief said there was a consensus within the NDA till former President Kalam was in the race. “However, after Kalam`s exit, there were different opinions and names,” he said.

Soon after BJP announced support for Sangma, the former Lok Sabha Speaker had appealed to JD(U) and Shiv Sena to back him.