New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) Janata Dal-United leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Thursday met NDA's vice-presidential candidate Jaswant Singh and expressed full support to him.
Nitish Kumar, who was earlier reportedly in favour of backing United Progressive Alliance candidate M. Hamid Ansari, had a nearly 40-minute-long meeting with Jaswant Singh at the latter's Delhi residence.
"We are supporting Jaswant Singhji, he is an old friend and a very suitable candidate," Nitish Kumar told reporters after the meeting.
"Our party MPs will vote for him," he said.
The Bihar chief minister was accompanied by JD-U MPs Shivanand Tiwari, N.K. Singh and Baidyanath Mahto. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Shahnawaz Hussain, who are in charge of Jaswant Singh's election campaign, were also present.
After getting its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) allies together to vote for Jaswant Singh, the BJP is trying to garner support from other non-UPA parties.
Asked about the progress in talks with AIADMK and Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Hussain said it was "too premature" to comment.
"We are talking to all parties, but it is premature to comment," he said.
In the presidential polls, BJP had backed P.A. Sangma, who was initially supported by BJD and AIADMK. The BJP is expecting reciprocity by the two parties in the vice presidential poll.
A BJP leader, who did not want to be be named, meanwhile said the aim for the party was to unite its allies, and garner support from some other parties for this poll.
"Our numbers in this poll will be better than the presidential election, the allies are together," the leader said.
A total of 790 MPs are eligible to cast their vote on Aug 7 to elect the 14th vice president. Ansari already has the support of 438 members, more than the 50 percent needed to win.