Rival groups to create consensus on joint candidates
Political activities for the upcoming Presidential elections showed some progress on Monday with BJP President Amit Shah nominating three cabinet ministers for consulting with NDA alliance partners to select a candidate for the post. Opposition parties led by Congress are also meeting Wednesday next to develop a consensus on a joint candidate for the top post.
BJP President Amit Shah has formed a committee of three senior cabinet ministers including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu for building consensus around the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate. Meeting of BJP National Executive on the subject was put off for the time being.
Meanwhile Opposition leaders will meet on Wednesday to formally begin the exercise of finalizing common candidates for Presidential and Vice Presidential elections. A ten-member sub group comprising senior leaders from Opposition parties will work towards finalizing the names of the candidates.
According to BJP sources NDA may chose Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu for the top post. Several other names were also being discussed. On the other hand many Opposition parties, including Congress, were keen that Sharad Pawar contest for the President’s post, tough he has shown no interest. Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar’s name was also being discussed as a possible choice for Opposition candidate for President’s post.
However, sources say that BJP is confident about its numbers to have the final word on the next President. If ruling NDA and Opposition introduce their separate candidates, polling will be held on July 17. The term of current President Pranab Mukherjee ends on July 24.