Presidential Election 2017: Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu met Communist Party Leader, Sitaram Yechury at the CPI(M)’s office today to discuss the possible candidate for the 2017 Presidential election. After the meeting, the CPI(M) leader told PTI that we did meet but they did not propose any name. He added,”a candidate should have impeccable secular credentials,” repeating his party’s stand. Singh and Naidu had met the Congress leader Sonia Gandhi earlier this morning at her residence to discuss the same.
The meeting lasted just 30-minutes, and stepping out, Yechury told media persons that the BJP panel (Rajnath and Venkaiah) will meet them again. When asked about the efforts for consensus he said,”there has to be some name (proposed) to arrive at a consensus,” according to PTI. President Pranab Mukherjee’s term ends next month on July 24 and the election is scheduled to take place on July 17. The last date to file the nomination of the candidate is June 28, according to the election commission.
Meanwhile, according to Indian Express, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge denied all the rumours for any support to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat. He said, “we are a secular party. We will never support Mohan Bhagwat; neither will the other parties. His name is being recommended by the Shiv Sena. We don’t know what their connection is with the BJP. However, we will choose a candidate from a secular party.” Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray said,”Mohan Bhagwat is our first choice and if someone has any objection to it then we propose M.S. Swaminathan as the possible candidate,” in a statement to ANI.
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Earlier this week, both Singh and Naidu held a meeting with Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Praful Patel and Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) Satish Kumar. Today NCP’s General Secretary told ANI,”MS Swaminathan desh ke gaurav hain. Aise vyakti Rashtrapati ho toh sambhav hai sarvsammati ho jaaye.” (M.S. Swaminathan is the country’s pride and if a person like this becomes the President of India then there is a possibility of common consent in all the houses).