Presidential poll: No names discussed in Opposition meet, says Ghulam Nabi Azad

All 10 members of the opposition sub-group formed to name a candidate for the presidential polls met in the chambers of the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha today.
Opposition party meet on June 14, 2017(ANI Twitter)
Opposition party meet on June 14, 2017(ANI Twitter)
Updated on Jun 27, 2017 12:38 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent

Opposition leaders met to discuss their presidential poll strategy on Wednesday as the process started for the filing of nominations for the July 17 election to the country’s top constitutional post.

No names were discussed in the Opposition meet on presidential poll candidate, Ghulam Nabi Azad said after the meeting.

All 10 members of the opposition sub-group formed for this purpose met in the chambers of the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, PTI sources said. This is the first meeting of the sub-group since its formation a few days ago.

The leaders were to discuss probable names for the post. The convention included Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, TMC leader Derek O’Brien, Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav, BSP’s Satish Chandra Mishra, DMK leader RS Bharathi and NCP’s Praful Patel.

A three-member BJP panel set up to consult political parties on selecting a consensus candidate for the upcoming presidential poll will meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday.

After meeting Gandhi, the panel of three ministers will also meet CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, sources close to Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu said.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Naidu were appointed by BJP president Amit Shah on June 12 to hold talks with opposition parties and allies in a bid to select a consensus candidate for the poll.

PTI sources said Naidu had already spoken with Praful Patel (NCP) and Satish Chandra Misra (BSP) on this issue. Patel and Misra are said to have assured Naidu their parties would take a call on a candidate after talks with the BJP panel.

The notification for the July 17 polls was issued on Wednesday, beginning the nomination process for the election. The last date for filing papers is June 28.

After prolonged silence on the issue, Shah constituted the three-member committee for consultations with the NDA allies and the opposition on the issue.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Wednesday that he had exchanged views with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and it had been decided that they would talk to different parties. Naidu said, “We exchanged views today, and will be talking to different parties regarding the same. On June 17, the Finance Minister will come back. We will exchange information with him and move forward.”

(With agency inputs)

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