Observing that Droupadi Murmu has a higher chance of winning the Presidential polls, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that the consensus candidate is always better for the high office of President of India.
“If we had an idea about their (Bharatiya Janata Party’s) candidate, we could have discussed at the all-party meeting…. Though the contest is on, Droupadi Murmu’s chances are better... They have more numbers because of the developments in Maharashtra,” Ms. Banerjee said during an interaction with journalists in Kolkata.
The Chief Minister said that she has “sentiments” for women but does not judge people on the basis of their gender.
Asked whether there was any scope of reconsideration, the Chief Minister said that whatever Opposition parties decide, she has to abide by it. Ms. Banerjee said that when the BJP leadership approached, they only asked about our suggestion and did not inform us of their choice. “If we had got any suggestion first, we could have discussed it at the all-party meeting,” she said.
It was the Trinamool Congress chairperson who had taken the lead to have a candidate from the Opposition parties. She held a meeting at the Constitution Club in Delhi on June 15, where leaders of Opposition parties including the Congress party were present. The Opposition parties have fielded former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, who quit the Trinamool Congress before filing his nomination.
Election to the office of the President of India would be held on July 18 and the counting of votes, if required would be held on July 21, ahead of the end of President Ram Nath Kovind’s term on July 24.