BJP to declare presidential candidate on Tuesday

Jun 20, 2017, 00:59

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has called its MPs and MLAs to Delhi for signing nomination papers for the presidential election, the process of which begins on Monday. The nomination of the BJP Presidential candidate is likely to be filed by June 23, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leaving for the United States on June 24.

Ram Nath Kovind is likely to file his papers on June 23, BJP president Amit Shah said after a almost two-hour meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board.

On Friday, the first meeting between the government and the opposition on presidential elections remained inconclusive as no names were discussed by either side.

"We have consulted allies and opposition parties in detail".

It is not clear whether the board will announce its candidate today, as a party leader said it may authorise Shah to take a call.

The three-member ministerial team formed to build consensus - comprising Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu - has already reached out to the opposition.

They said they will get back to us with a name later.

Naidu has also spoken to Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav and Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders Ram Gopal Yadav and Naresh Agrawal over phone and met Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and senior Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Satish Chandra Mishra in this regard.

Last week, Rajnath Singh and Naidu met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury to evolve consensus on the candidate for Presidency. SP members are understood to have expressed preference for a politician as President.

BJP has completed its consultation exercise for the presidential poll after holding deliberations with opposition parties as well as NDA partners.

Nominations close on June 28 and the electoral college would hold a vote, should one be required, on July 17, according to the Election Commission of India.

A total of four nomination papers to be submitted, each needs 50 nominators and 50 seconders.

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