Prez race: BJP rules out backing Pranab, Ansari

New Delhi: Giving a new turn to the Presidential race, BJP today ruled out supporting Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari or any other candidate who may be put up by the Congress but is open to supporting anyone chosen by the non-Congress parties.

"We will not accept any Congress candidate, including Pranab Mukherjee, for the President`s post, ," she told reporters here. The names of Mukherjee and Ansari have been doing the round as being among the probables in the Presidential election. Asked about Ansari, Swaraj said he does not have the stature to be President and hence BJP will not support him.

She also categorically said there will be no understanding with the Congress under which NDA would support UPA`s Presidential candidate and get their support in return for the vice-president`s post. "We are looking at the 2014 elections and do not want to give the impression that we have any truck with the Congress," Swaraj said.

She said BJP was gauging the mood of the UPA allies on the Presidential elections. On whether a non-Congress candidate like A P J Abdul Kalam, Swaraj said BJP is open to the idea. "We can have an understanding with non-Congress parties where we support their Presidential candidate and they support our vice-presidential candidate," she said. "We will contest to win. We will work out an arithmetic," she said.