1. Presidential elections: Congress to approach polls with ‘open mind’, may not force own candidate on other parties

Presidential elections: Congress to approach polls with ‘open mind’, may not force own candidate on other parties

Several Opposition regional parties are keen on having a common candidate other than from the Congress as their presidential candidate

By: | New Delhi | Published: May 4, 2017 4:59 PM
Congress president Sonia Gandhi is expected to meet several Opposition leaders in a few days. (PTI)

Several Opposition regional parties are keen on having a common candidate other than from the Congress as their presidential candidate, an Indian Express report said. According to the report, the party is not rigid on this point and that it has an “open mind” on it and that the idea is to nominate a person acceptable to all parties rather than flexing muscles.

A Congress leader added that once the consultation is done among Opposition parties, an effort will even be made to get a “broad-based support” by reaching out even to NDA allies.

Speaking to Indian Express, a Left leader said that some Opposition parties like BJD may not support a Congress candidate Congress candidate. He said that even though it is too early to name a candidate, there is a possibility of a consensus candidate or a “non-Congress politician.” The report further said that names of NCP chief Sharad Pawar and JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, apart from former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar have been doing rounds as possible candidates. “Consultations with all parties are on, and no one is being seriously considered (as of now),” the Left leader was quoted as saying by Indian Express.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who met National Conference leader Omar Abdullah yesterday, is expected to meet BSP supremo Mayawati, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and DMK working president M K Stalin in a few days. Sonia Gandhi had one round of discussion with Sharad Pawar, Sharad Yadav, Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar already. She has also spoken to RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Samajwadi Party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav, with her son and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi speaking to the later’s son Akhilesh Yadav.

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There is talk of the Opposition parties even approaching Nobel laureate Amartya Sen or historian Irfan Habib to be the non-NDA candidate for the Presidential election, the Indian Express report further added.

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