Thu, 16 Jun 2022 08:14 AM IST
New Delhi | Jagran Politics Desk: Following opposition parties' decision to field a common candidate for Presidential election, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has reached out to them to evolve a consensus for a nominee.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday spoke to Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee, Congress' Mallikarjun Kharge, and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav to seek their opinion on candidates for the Presidential election.
The three leaders, however, have asked Rajnath about the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) candidate for the polls. Later, Kharge said it was a formality and no breakthrough was achieved.
"Rajnath Singh called me and spoke about the Presidential polls. But when asked about the proposal, there was no response. I am saying if the opposition comes up with a non-controversial name... will the government accept that? It's a formality," Kharge was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.
Rajnath Singh reaches out to Nitish Kumar
Apart from talks with the opposition leaders, the Defence Minister also reached out to Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Nitish Kumar on Wednesday and spoke about the Presidential polls. According to a report by news agency ANI, Nitish has assured Rajnath that his party will support the candidate as proposed by the NDA.
Last month, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had also visited Bihar and met Nitish. The Bihar Chief Minister had earlier scotched speculation about the possibility of his being a candidate and had said that he was not in the presidential race.
Rajnath calls on friendly opposition
Apart from Nitish, Rajnath on Wednesday also held telephonic conversations with friendly opposition
parties like Biju Janta Dal (BJD) chief Naveen Patnaik and the top brass of the YSR Congress.
It should be noted that the BJD - which has a 2.85 per cent share of votes in the electoral college - skipped the meeting of opposition parties convened by Mamata, while the YSR Congress was not invited. Media reports suggest that the two parties will likely go with the NDA for the Presidential election.
Presidential elections will be held on July 18, while the counting of votes, if needed, will take place on July 21.