BJP leaders hold further consultations with political parties to reach consensus on Presidential candidate

Senior BJP leader and Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu Sunday held discussions with Lok Janshakti Party president Ramvilas Paswan and Samajwadi party’s Ramgopal Yadav and Naresh Agarwal on Presidential election. Mr Paswan said, his party stands by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision. The Samajwadi Party leaders are understood to have preferred a politician as President. Talking to reporters in New Delhi, Mr Naidu said, BJP will announce its presidential nominee before 23rd of this month.

Mr Naidu briefed BJP President Amit Shah on discussions with various parties so far. He is the member of a group formed by Mr Shah to hold consultation with political parties on presidential elections. The BJP President met Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai. The meeting comes a day after Mr Shah, who is in Mumbai on a three-day visit to strengthen the party organisation in the state, said his party will consult its allies before finalising the NDA’s presidential candidate. Finance Minister Arun Jaitely spoke to TMC and BJD leadership.

Two days back, the Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu had meetings with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and other opposition leaders separately as part of BJP’s outreach to evolve a consensus on the presidential nominee. However, no name was discussed by either side for the top Constitutional post.

The BJP leaders also had meetings with AIADMK leader M Thambidurai and CPI leader S Sudhakar Reddy, Samajwadi party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra. Mr Naidu also spoke to Sharad Yadav of JD(U). They also had discussion with BJP veterans L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.

So far, a total of eight nominations have been accepted. The last date of filing nomination is 28th of this month. The presidential poll is scheduled to be held on 17th of next month while the counting of votes is on 20th of July.