Pawar welcomes choice of Ansari as UPA V-P nominee

After the TMC, it was the turn of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to give the Congress some hiccups. The party did not attend the meeting. Thye were upset that instead of designation Sharad Pawar as No.2 in the Cabinet, the Prime Minister gave that slot to Defence Minister A K Antony.

Speaking to Deccan Herald on the issue, a senior NCP leader alleged that “for the first time in the history of Indian democracy the order of precedence of hierarchy in the Union Cabinet has been tempered by the Congress”.

The leader asserted that after the resignation of Pranab Mukherjee to contest Presidential election, NCP chief Sharad Pawar should have been designated No. 2 in the Cabinet because of his seniority.

However, the Congress designated Antony as No 2 in the Union Cabinet, who is much junior to Pawar, without even discussing with the party, the leader said.

An indication about Antony's elevation to the rank of No. 2 came on Thursday as he was seated next to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Cabinet meeting.

The NCP leader further asserted that “it was because of the indecent unilateral decision of the Congress that the NCP has kept away from the crucial meeting”.

This is for the first time that the NCP has not attended a UPA meeting after coalition was formed in 2004.

Though the NCP lodged its protest by not attending the UPA meeting, Pawar has welcomed the candidature of Hamid Ansari for Vice Presidential elections and said his party is part of the decision taken by UPA leadership.

"Even though I was not present for the meeting in Delhi, there was a consultation process with other constituent partners including NCP. In the deliberation, NCP has decided that Ansari's candidature is agreeable," Pawar said in Mumbai.

Mayawati comes on board

The Bahujan Samaj Party  on Saturday declared its support to Hamid Ansari, the UPA nominee for the post of vice-president, reports DHNS from Lucknow. “Ansari has been able to maintain the dignity of the post of the Vice-President during his tenure,” a BSP release said quoting Mayawati.

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