Amid hectic deliberations and parleys by various parties over Presidential polls, Samajawadi Party (SP) veteran Mulayam Singh Yadav has clarified his stand. The Samajwadi Party patriarch has assured NDA leaders that his party will support them in the Presidential polls, according to a report in TOI. But, Mulayam Singh Yadav has put a condition as well – the candidate should not be a strong saffron face and be acceptable to all, the TOI report added. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and I&B Minister Venkaiah Naidu had on Friday held a meeting with Mulayam Singh Yadav to forge consensus over Presidential poll candidate. Noteworthy, Mulayam’s support to the NDA candidate is being seen as a major setback to the Congress-led opposition.
The process of filing nominations for the July 17 presidential poll began on June 14. The nomination process will continue till June 28. The ruling NDA and a loosely knit group of opposition parties have intensified efforts to zero in on a “mutually acceptable” presidential candidate. But they would go their separate ways if a consensus proves elusive.
After a prolonged silence on the issue, BJP chief Amit Shah had constituted a three-member committee comprising Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu which will hold consultations with the NDA allies and the opposition on the issue. Leaders of opposition parties are holding meetings to chalk out their joint strategy and come up with a consensus candidate.
The 10-member sub-group of the opposition also met after its constitution recently. Sources said the opposition leaders will try and come out with some possible names for the post of President, but will await the government initiative in this regard.
In a bid to ensure that non-serious candidates do not file nomination for the prestigious election, laws were amended a few years ago. Now, a candidate who is supported by 50 electors and seconded by another 50 can file nomination. Elected members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and elected members of state legislative assemblies are the electors.
If the elections are held in case both the NDA and the opposition field their candidates, then the results will be announced on July 20. The term of present incumbent Pranab Mukherjee comes to an end on July 24.