Presidential polls India

Presidential polls | Rajnath speaks to Pawar, Mamata, Kharge

Rajnath Singh and J.P. Nadda had been empowered by the BJP to undertake this process of consultation, even as 17 opposition parties held a meeting to arrive at a common candidate to be fielded by them for the polls. File

Rajnath Singh and J.P. Nadda had been empowered by the BJP to undertake this process of consultation, even as 17 opposition parties held a meeting to arrive at a common candidate to be fielded by them for the polls. File | Photo Credit: DEBASISH BHADURI

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president J.P. Nadda on Wednesday began the consultation process, on behalf of the NDA, for the upcoming polls for electing the new President of India, by dialling key Opposition leaders, NDA allies and neutral parties such as the Biju Janata Dal (BJD). Mr. Singh and Mr. Nadda had been empowered by the BJP to undertake this process of consultation, even as 17 Opposition parties held a meeting to arrive at a common candidate to be fielded by them for the polls.

Among the leaders whom Mr. Singh spoke to include Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav. Among NDA allies, Mr. Singh spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. He also spoke to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, whose party the BJD is equidistant from both the NDA and the UPA, but who is expected to go with the NDA on the presidential polls.

Mr. Singh is also in touch with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, and is expected to reach out to Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar and former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (S) leader H.D. Deve Gowda and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader O. Panneerselvam.

Sources said the opposition leaders asked Mr. Singh about the BJP-led NDA’s nominee for the presidential election, when he put a question on whether the opposition had any suggestions to offer. “Our response was that the NDA should share its ideas over who they thought would be the ruling alliance’s candidate,” said a source.

Mr. Nadda is also in touch with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the National People’s Party (NPP), the National Conference (NC), the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), and the Nagaland People’s Front (NPF).

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During the meeting convened by Ms. Banerjee, at least two more names emerged — NC supremo Farooq Abdullah and Gopalkrishna Gandhi, after Mr. Pawar declined to be a candidate.

The election for the President will be held on July 18, while the nomination process began from Wednesday. Incumbent Ram Nath Kovind's term ends on July 24.


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Printable version | Aug 18, 2022 12:52:09 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajnath-singh-jp-nadda-begin-consultations-for-presidential-polls/article65530425.ece