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Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi amid talks of joint Prez nominee by Opposition

The presidential election has to be held before July 24, when President Pranab Mukherjee’s term ends.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2017 10:54 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
New Delhi
Sonia Gandhi,Presidential race,Presidential candidate
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has been meeting leaders of non-BJP parties in the run-up to the presidential race.(PTI Photo)

Amid hectic negotiations over a joint presidential candidate by the Opposition, NCP leader Sharad Pawar on Wednesday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and discussed the current political situation.

Gandhi has been spearheading the Opposition unity in putting up a joint candidate to replace Pranab Mukherjee and has held a series of meeting with several leaders recently.

Amid talk of a joint presidential candidate being put up by non-BJP parties, Pawar discussed the issue with Gandhi during a half-an-hour meeting at her residence.

Pawar’s name is also doing the rounds among the probable joint opposition candidate for the presidential poll slated in July.

Gandhi had on Wednesday met JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, whose name is among one of the probable candidates. However, Yadav had termed the meeting as a mere “courtesy call”.

She has earlier met Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja over the issue.

Sources said the opposition is trying to put up a united face and jointly fight the presidential poll even though the numbers have tilted in favour of the NDA after Uttar Pradesh assembly election results.

Parleys are also being held among leaders of other opposition parties.

The presidential election has to be held before July 24, when President Pranab Mukherjee’s term ends.

He had taken over the post in July 2012, defeating the NDA candidate late P A Sangma.

Sources said there is agreement to the possibility of fielding a candidate acceptable to all secular opposition parties, but there is no discussion on likely candidates yet.

The sudden flurry of opposition activities comes in the wake of the BJP’s winning streak in states since the formation of the Narendra Modi government in 2014. It currently has governments in 13 states and is a junior partner in the ruling alliance in Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh.

Some feel that the opposition unity for contesting may well turn out to be a precursor to an anti-NDA front ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

First Published: Apr 27, 2017 00:39 IST