Presidential Election 2017: The Opposition has declared former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as their presidential candidate for the upcoming presidential polls. All 17 opposition parties have agreed to field Kumar as its joint candidate. Speaking after the meeting, Congress president Sonia Gandhi herself announced Meira Kumar’s name for the presidential poll. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad thereafter said, “Meira Kumar is a former diplomat and she can effectively play the role of the President of India.” The presidential polls will be held on July 17. Sonia Gandhi has asked all opposition parties to stay united and put their weight behind Meira Kumar.
While addressing the media after the opposition meeting, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the opposition could not have thought of a better person to take over the highest office in the country. Azad added that Kumar is a five-time Lok Sabha MP and has been the Union Minister for Water Resources in the Congress-led UPA government. Apart from this Meira Kumar has also been the Speaker of the Lok Sabha from 2009 to 2014.
Apart from Congress, the opposition meeting was attended by leaders from the Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, National Conference, Bahujan Samaj Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal, CPI(M), Nationalist Congress Party and members of a few smaller parties.
RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is supporting Meira Kumar, has said that he will ask Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to change his stance on supporting BJP’s candidate Kovind, Lalu said, ”Nitishji had called me and told me that supporting Kovind was a personal decision. I would ask him to reconsider.” Lalu added that the opposition is fighting an ideological battle against the BJP, according to the Indian Express.