Presidential elections 2017: Several Opposition leaders will meet to formally begin the process of finalising common candidates for Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections on Wednesday, an Indian Express report said. A 10-member sub-group set up from Opposition parties will work on finalising the candidates. It will also watch out for any move by the government. Contrary to reports NCP chief Sharad Pawar is not heading the sub-group.
The party has nominated Praful Patel to the panel. Party MP Tariq Anwar would attend meetings in his absence. The Congress and some other Opposition parties want Sharad Pawar to contest for the President’s post. Even though he did not show any interest, attempts are being made to persuade him.
As per the report, Opposition has reached out to Gopal Krishna Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi . The name of former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar is also under consideration. The Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, and party leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge are representing Congress in the sub-group. The other members in the sub-committee include RJD’s Lalu Prasad, JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav, CPI, Trinamool Congress’s Derek O’ Brien, (M)’s Sitaram Yechury, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Satish Chandra Mishra, DMK’s Alandur R S Bharthi and Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav.
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Opposition parties have said earlier that they were ready to “consider” if the NDA Government proposes an “acceptable” name. “If acceptable candidates do not emerge, then we shall decide to field such persons who shall steadfastly defend the Constitutional values of our Republic,” parties had said after a meeting was hosted by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on May 26, as per the paper.
President Pranab Mukherjee’s term will end on July 24.