New Delhi: With the date of notification for the presidential polls fast approaching, BJP president Amit Shah on Monday set up a three-member committee comprising finance minister Arun Jaitley, information and broadcasting minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and home minister Rajnath Singh to talk to political parties within the NDA as well as the Opposition in a bid to reach a consensus on a presidential candidate.
A BJP statement said the three-member committee will consult leaders of different political parties over the presidential polls and try to evolve a consensus. The process of filing of nominations for the election begins with the notification being issued on June 14, while the last day of filing is June 28. The polling, if required, will be held on July 17.
Sources said the names of former Chief Justice of India and Kerala governor P. Sathasivam and Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu were doing the rounds as presidential candidates and that of Hukum Narayan Yadav was being considered for the post of vice-president. Mr Yadav is a former socialist leader and Ms Murmu is a tribal and a woman, while Justice Sathasivam belongs to a farming family.
Many among the 17-party Opposition conglomerate who joined hands to field a candidate may support the NDA if the government fields these names.
Contest likely for Presidential poll
The Opposition parties, led by the Congress. have been saying they would field a candidate if the BJP fields a right-wing candidate with RSS links. None of these three names are linked to the RSS.
This, however, may not mean there will be no contest as the Left parties may field their own candidate for the presidential election in a rerun of 2002 when they had fielded Capt. Lakshmi Sehgal of Netaji’s INA against A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who was supported by the ruling NDA and most of the Opposition, including Congress. BJP sources said though the three veteran ministers will consult all political parties, the final decision will be that of Narendra Modi and Mr Shah....