With the date of nominating candidates for the upcoming Presidential polls inching closer, the Opposition parties are slated to meet at 4pm here today to deliberate on the same. As President Pranab Mukherjee’s term comes to an end on July 24, the Presidential election will be held on July 17. Earlier in May, Congress president Sonia Gandhi called on the leaders of the Opposition to build a consensus on the Presidential nominee. Leaders of 17 parties namely JD (U), CPI, CPI-M, SP, DMK, NCP, RJD and TMC, besides some other big and small regional parties attended the meeting.
While Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar indicated his support in favour of Pranab Mukherjee if he secured a second term as the President, the Congress so far has been non-committal on a second term for him. Contrary to this, the Shiv Sena, an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) in Maharashtra had proposed RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s name as the National Democratic Alliance’s candidate for the country’s top constitutional post earlier too
The Election Commission said the last date of nomination is June 28 and the counting of votes will be taken up on July 20. President Mukherjee will demit office on July 25 and Vice President Hamid Ansari will complete his second tenure in August. The President is elected through an Electoral College that includes national and State legislators. Currently, there are 13 vacancies in the Electoral College. As many as 21 AAP MLAs are also eligible to vote.