Presidential election: TDP on board, NDA to negotiate with Congress today
According to sources, Chandrababu has told Venkaiah Naidu his party (TDP) would stand by the PM’s decision.india Updated: Jun 16, 2017 08:02 IST
The Narendra Modi government has secured the support of its southern ally Telugu Desam Party (TDP), a day before it starts negotiations with Congress, the principal Opposition party.
Information and broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu spoke to TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday. Sources in Naidu’s office said, “Chandrababu told him his party would stand by the PM’s decision.”
On Friday, the government managers will formally start negotiations with the Opposition. Ministers Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu are set to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury in a bid to evolve consensus over the next President of India.
The government’s outreach prompted the Opposition parties to not decide its candidate in its meeting on Wednesday.
The government is also trying to woo Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). A day after talking to NCP leader Praful Patel, Naidu spoke to Pawar on Thursday and sought time for a meeting. Pawar has told Opposition parties that he is not keen to fight the presidential election even as a section of the Opposition considered his name.
A section of the Opposition expects that the ministers will come up with specific names of candidates for discussions with the Opposition leaders. Singh and Naidu are part of the three-member team constituted by BJP president Amit Shah. With Naidu solidly behind the BJP, the NDA needs around 20,000 votes while the Opposition is short of 1.5 lakh.