Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Prez poll: Centre reaches out for consensus as Oppn decide to field joint candidate

The government is making an effort for a consensus candidate for the upcoming presidential election, even as 17 opposition parties announced a decision to put up a joint candidate against the NDA nominee.
Senior BJP leader and Union defence minister Rajnath Singh is in talks with a number of key opposition leaders including Mallikarjun Kharge, Mamata Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav, sources said on Wednesday.
The government’s initiative comes despite the fact that the government is comfortably placed in terms of numbers to get its nominee elected to the top post.
Singh made calls to Kharge, Banerjee and Yadav besides some other leaders including BJD’s Naveen Patnaik, and JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar.
Earlier in the day, 17 opposition parties met at Delhi’s Constitution Club and agreed to put up a joint candidate. The meeting was convened by Trinamool chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
TMC, Congress, CPI, CPM, CPIML, RSP, Shiv Sena, NCP, RJD, SP, National Conference, PDP, JD(S), DMK, RLD, IUML and JMM participated in the meeting, while BJD, TRS, AAP and SAD stayed away.
“Opposition leaders adopted a resolution to field a common candidate in the forthcoming Presidential poll. A candidate who can truly serve as custodian of the Constitution and stop Modi government from doing further damage to Indian democracy and India’s social fabric,” Sudheendra Kulkarni said.
Mamata is believed to have proposed names of Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Farooq Abdullah, after Sharad Pawar declined to be the opposition candidate. Abdullah’s son Omar also turned down the offer naming his father, while other parties said that this was not the time to discuss names.
Meanwhile, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi said that it was “too premature” to comment on the matter.