The opposition parties on Tuesday named Yashwant Sinha as their joint candidate for the President elections to be held on July 18, reported news agency PTI quoting sources. “We (opposition parties) have unanimously decided that Yashwant Sinha will be the common candidate of the Opposition for the Presidential elections, said Congress leader Jairam Ramesh after the meeting.
Quitting the Trinamool Congress ahead of the Opposition meet today, Sinha wrote on Twitter, “I am grateful to Mamataji for the honour and prestige she bestowed on me in the TMC. Now a time has come when for a larger national cause I must step aside from the party to work for greater opposition unity. I am sure she approves of the step.”
After the Opposition meeting, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar declared that Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha is going to fill the nomination for the upcoming President polls at 11:30 am on June 27. After Sharad Pawar, Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Farooq Abdullah ruled themselves out of the race, TMC proposed the name of its national vice-president Sinha. “We appeal to all political parties to support Yashwant Sinha as prez so we can have a worthy ‘rashtrapati’ elected unopposed,” the Opposition statement read, reported PTI. Reacting to the development, TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, who was also present at the meeting, told ANI, “We are honoured that Yashwant Sinha has been nominated by the unified opposition, he was associated with TMC for a long time. We need to keep our differences aside. We have to find someone who will act as the custodian of the Indian Constitution.”
The meeting was attended by several Opposition parties including Congress, NCP, TMC, CPI, CPI-M, Samajwadi Party, National Conference, AIMIM, RJD and AIUDF. Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge and Jairam Ramesh, TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury and CPI’s D Raja were present at today’s meeting. After choosing to stay out of the June 15 meeting, TRS, BJD. AAP, SAD and YSRCP also decided to give today’s meeting a skip.