Thu, 16 Jun 2022 10:45 AM IST
New Delhi | Jagran Politics Desk: Leaders of 17 political parties, including the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and the Trinamool Congress (TMC), on Wednesday agreed to field a common candidate for the Presidential election slated to be held on July 18.
The resolution was adopted by Congress, TMC, NCP, Shiv Sena, RLD, RJD, DMK, CPM, CPI, RSP, CPI(ML), NC, PDP, JD-S, JMM, SP, and IUML.
However, the opposition parties failed to decide on their candidate for the polls. During the meeting, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee purposed the name of NCP chief Sharad Pawar as the opposition's joint candidate, an offer declined by the 81-year-old Maratha strongman.
"I sincerely appreciate the leaders of Opposition parties for suggesting my name as a candidate for the election of the President of India at the meeting held in Delhi. However, I would like to state that I have humbly declined the proposal of my candidature," Pawar tweeted on Wednesday evening.
With Pawar opting out of the race, the focus has shifted to Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah. Banerjee had proposed the names of Gandhi and Abdullah besides Pawar for the opposition's joint candidate.
"Mamta Banerjee mentioned two more names besides Sharad Pawar, which include the names of Farooq Abdullah and Gopalkrishna Gandhi. However, on these two names, no other party leader expressed an opinion in this meeting," Jharkhand Lok Sabha MP Vijay Hansdak told news agency ANI.
While Abdullah is yet to issue a statement over this matter, 77-year-old Gandhi has said that "it is too premature to comment on it" when he was asked about his name doing the rounds as a possible choice as the opposition's candidate.
Gandhi, who was Governor of West Bengal from 2004 to 2009, was the consensus opposition candidate for the post of Vice President of India in 2017 but had lost to M Venkaiah Naidu in the election. According to a report by news agency PTI, he has sought some time from opposition leaders to respond to their request.
Meanwhile, the process to file nominations for the Presidential elections began on Wednesday. On the first day of the nominations, 11 people had filed their names. The Presidential election is scheduled to be held on July 18. The counting of votes, if needed, will take place on July 21.