Updated: Tue, 21 Jun 2022 05:49 PM IST
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The opposition parties on Tuesday decided to field former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha as their common candidate for the upcoming Presidential Elections, slated to take place in July. Leaders of 13 opposition parties, who met today to finalise the name of the candidate for the Presidential polls, unanimously agreed on Sinha's name.
"We (opposition parties) have unanimously decided that Yashwant Sinha will be the common candidate of the Opposition for the Presidential elections", Congress leader Jairam Ramesh announced after the opposition's meeting. Sinha's name came up after Sharad Pawar, Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Farooq Abdullah opted out of the race.
This came after Sinha, a former BJP leader who joined the TMC last year, said that he will "step aside" from the TMC to work for the larger national cause of Opposition unity, amid indications that he is being considered as the Opposition's joint candidate for the presidential elections.
"In his long and distinguished career in public life, Sinha has served the nation in various capacities. An able administrator, accomplished Parliamentarian, and an acclaimed Union Minister of Finance and External Affairs, he is eminently qualified to uphold the secular and democratic character of the Indian republic and its constitutional values," the joint statement by opposition parties said.
Ideally, a consensus candidate of the Government and the Opposition should be elected for the highest office of the Republic. However, the initiative for this should have been taken by the Government.
"We regret the fact that the Modi Government made no serious efforts in this direction. We, therefore, appeal to the BJP and its allies to support the candidature of Sinha so that the nation can have a worthy Rashtrapati elected unopposed," the statement added.
The parties that attended today's opposition meeting include the Congress, NCP, TMC, CPI, CPI-M, Samajwadi Party, National Conference, AIMIM, RJD and AIUDF. Congress' Mallikarjun Kharge and Jairam Ramesh, TMC's Abhishek Banerjee, DMK's Tiruchi Siva, CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury and CPI's D Raja were among those who participated in the meeting.
Five regional parties, considered non-aligned - TRS, BJD. AAP, SAD and YSRCP -- stayed away. These parties had also stayed away from the June 15 meeting convened by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.