As the political circles of the country is all hands on deck for the upcoming Presidential elections, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has recently conducted its first round of discussions with Opposition parties over the candidate selection. However, the saffron party is said to have finalised four sets of nomination papers, leaving the space for the name of the candidate blank. Speaking to Indian Express, a source close to the party said, “The four sets have the signatures of MPs and MLAs. But the line for the name is left blank.” For each of these sets of candidate’s nomination, the form has to be signed by at least 50 electors as proposers and 50 as seconders.
Sources have also informed that Union Ministers including Ananth Kumar, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav are actively heading the preparations for the upcoming polls. The committee, appointed by BJP national president Amit Shah, has already started conducting meetings with the leaders of the opposition parties and the NDA has claimed that it is absolutely confident of winning in both presidential and vice presidential elections.
Hinting about the additional support BJP has gained from other parties, a senior leader told I, “We have almost 3 lakh votes more than the required number in the presidential electoral college.”
Nevertheless, party has still not revealed the name of candidates and as per the consultation process as it wants to come to a consensus and thus, the committee members did not carry any name or set of names. Even the sources have informed that as per several senior party leaders, BJP and the Centre would like to finalise the candidate for presidential polls before Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for his overseas tour on June 24.
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The report further stated that both Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu have met veteran BJP leaders including LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi on Friday to seek suggestion over the candidates’ name. Further speaking to IE about the dilemma the party leaders are facing currently, a party source, said, “The BJP president wanted to know if there are any names the leaders wanted to suggest. But how can a leader on his own suggest a name when they are not aware about the mind of either the Prime Minister or the BJP president.”
Despite not having any clearance on candidates’ selection, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s name has been doing the rounds so far, but she could also be rejected as PM Narendra Modi would surely need her in his Council of Ministers.