New Delhi: The names of Vice President Hamid Ansari, Tribal Affairs Minister V Kishore Chandra Deo and former Nagaland chief minister SC Jamir are doing the rounds as the vice presidential candidate of Congress while BJP may leave it to its allies to put up a nominee.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has been authorised by the party to decide the candidate like she did in the presidential elections.
Ansari was the second preference of Congress for the presidential election after Pranab Mukherjee when Gandhi had zeroed in on the presidential candidate of UPA after consultations with all constituent allies and supporting allies.
Kishore Chandra Deo, hailing from Andhra Pradesh, is one of the senior most tribal leaders of Congress as also Jamir who had been the governor of Maharashtra and Goa.
There is a view in the party that putting up a tribal candidate for the post of Vice President will blunt the campaign of Oppostion presidential nominee PA Sangma against Congress for not backing a tribal candidate.
A section of party men also speak about Sushil Kumar Shinde who was the Opposition candidate for the vice presidentship 10 years ago against BJP's Bhairon Singh Shekhawat during NDA rule at the Centre. Shinde is a Dalit face of the party.
Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil, who missed the Presidential bus in 2007, is also said to be an aspirant for vice president this time.
Meanwhile, BJP is not keen on putting up its own candidate as the numbers are not stacked in its favour. It may instead bank on one of its allies fielding a candidate and supporting him or her.
"Unless one of our senior leaders insists on contesting knowing well that he or she will lose, we are not likely to put up a candidate. However, if one of our NDA allies or a non-Congress party puts up a candidate we will support him," a senior BJP leader said.
Election to the post of vice president will be held on 7 August. The term of the incumbent Md Hamid Ansari expires on 10 August.