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Presidential polls: Murmu, Gopal Krishna Gandhi key names in fray so far

Election will be held on July 17 and votes counted on July 20, 5 days before Mukherjee's term ends

Neha Mishra  |  New Delhi 

NDA is likely to declare the final candidate's name on June 23
NDA is likely to declare the final candidate's name on June 23

Weeks before the on July 17, the ruling Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the parties have begun parleys to decide on their candidates. And, we already have had a set of names doing the rounds for the highest position in the

The on Wednesday issued a notification for filing of nominations for the presidential poll, counting of votes for which will take place on July 20, five days before the incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee’s term expires.

The names that have so far emerged in the race to the include those of Draupadi Murmu, Najma Heptullah, Gopal Krishna Gandhi, L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Mohan Bhagwat and Sushma Swaraj, besides six people who filed their nominations on Wednesday.

(BJP) president on June 9 constituted a three-member committee comprising Union ministers Rajnath Singh, and for holding consultations with allies and parties on the issue.

Among the names of key political players, one that has been making waves on the social media is that of Governor Should the 59-year-old, coming from the Santhal tribe, is elected, she would be the first tribal woman to take the position of the President of

Murmu, who began her political career in 1997, comes from the Uparbheda village of During BJD’s Naveen Patnaik from 2000 to 2004, she had held portfolios like ministry of transport and commerce, and fisheries & animal husbandry. With 20 years of experience, Murmu has been working for the elevation of the tribal community.

In fact, Murmu's likely candidature is being viewed as BJP’s effort to win the tribal vote bank for the 2019 general elections, according to an NDTV report.

Another promising name that has emerged for the Presidency has come from the camp – that of Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson and a former governor, A retired officer and a diplomat, the 71-year-old has served in different capacities – secretary to the Vice-President (from 1985 to 1987), joint secretary to the President (from 1987 to 1992), and secretary to the President (1997).

A panel of 10 leaders assigned to pick a candidate held its first meeting on Wednesday but decided to wait until the government’s propositions before zeroing in on a name. The Centre, meanwhile, needs around 20,000 more votes to ensure victory for its candidate.

An Today report quoting sources said the was likely to declare the final candidate's name on June 23. 

First Published: Thu, June 15 2017. 16:33 IST