New Delhi: The BJP began Wednesday the consultation exercise on evolving a consensus name for the presidential polls. Senior party leader Rajnath Singh spoke to a number of key Opposition leaders. Among them were Mallikarjun Kharge, Mamata Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav, sources said Wednesday. This development comes in the backdrop of Mamata Banerjee calling a meeting to choose a consensus Opposition candidate for the presidential polls.
The BJP has authorised Rajnath Singh and party’s chief JP Nadda to consult with other parties for building consensus on a presidential candidate.
Singh made the calls to Kharge, Banerjee and Yadav besides some other leaders. The sources said Opposition leaders asked Singh about BJP-led NDA’s nominee for the presidential election.
Singh has also called Janata Dal (United) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to deliberate upon the presidential polls, the sources said.
During the meeting convened by Banerjee, at least two more names emerged – National Conference( NC) supremo Farooq Abdullah and Gopalkrishna Gandhi, after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar declined to be a candidate.
The election for the president will be held on July 18, while the nomination process began from Wednesday. Incumbent Ram Nath Kovind’s term ends July 24.