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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentary board is slated to meet on Monday to pick the vice-presidential candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Today, Opposition presidential candidate Meira Kumar and vice-presidential candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi met members of political parties supporting their respective candidatures.
Addressing the members, both Kumar and Gopalkrishna Gandhi stressed that while electoral college numbers are stacked against the Opposition but the battle was ideological and has brought together political parties from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi said the Constitution and the law of the land were “sadly under siege today”. “In these contests, the numbers may be against us. But the battle must be fought and fought hard. We cannot and must not let India be hostage to those who wish to impose upon it a narrow-minded, divisive and communal vision,” she said.
The BJP-led NDA was to announce its candidate on Sunday, but this has been postponed to Monday. Sources claim Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla and Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu are two of the aspirants. However, some consider Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao as the frontrunner.
But just as the name of NDA’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind was a surprise to many, including people in the NDA, so could be that of its vice-presidential candidate.
July 18 is the last day for filing of nominations for the vice-presidential election. Opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi is likely to file his nomination papers on Monday.
The Opposition presidential candidate is being supported by 17 political parties, minus the Janata Dal (United). However, the JD (U) is supporting the Opposition’s vice-presidential candidate.
The NDA’s presidential and vice-presidential candidates are expected to win the polls comfortably.