Presidential election 2017: The ruling BJP at the Centre and Opposition parties led by Congress have started finalising their strategies for upcoming poll to decide the next President of India. While Opposition parties had held parleys even as BJP leaders reached out to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, according to Indian Express report. It has been learned that the BJP’s resounding victories in the recently concluded assembly polls has made it easy for the party’s candidate to become the next head of state. The official notification for the July 17 poll was issued yesterday as the term of incumbent Pranab Mukherjee ends on July 24. The process for filing of nominations had started. Counting will take place on July 20, according to reports.
10 opposition leaders, including Mallikarjun Kharge from the Congress, JD-U’s Sharad Yadav, RJD’s Lalu Prasad, CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury and NCP’s Praful Patel. Derek O’Brien of the TMC, R S Bharathi of the DMK, Ram Gopal Yadav of the SP and Satish Chandra Misra from the BSP, met in the Parliament chamber of the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad. The Opposition is likely to announce its joint candidate after June 20, with the filing of nominations slated to take place around June 24-25.
BJP makes the move
It has been learned that the NDA candidate will file the nomination papers on June 23 before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US tour begins on June 24. The BJP led by Venkaiah Naidu and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Singh is expected to speak to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Naidu had spoken to PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss and All India NR Congress leader N Rangaswamy. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will hold talks with the socialist parties, according to IE report.
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According to reports, the Opposition has already reached out to Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Gopal Krishna Gandhi. It has been learned that he has agreed to be its joint candidate. Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar is also being considered while JD(U)’s Yadav is said to be interested, too, according to Indian Express report.