Business Standard

Presidential poll: BJP leaders to meet Sonia today

BJP sources indicated their nominee would file papers on June 23

Archis Mohan & PTI  |  New Delhi/ Mumbai 

Arun Jaitley with Sonia Gandhi
File photo of Arun Jaitley with Sonia Gandhi

The Congress on Thursday said it would prefer consensus over the presidential candidate, while sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) indicated their nominee would file papers on June 23.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chief Amit Shah, Union ministers, and some chief ministers of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)-ruled states are also likely to be present when the candidate — whose name is yet to be disclosed — files the nomination papers.

Shah has put together a three-member committee, comprising Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and It is already reaching out to other political parties — allies and Opposition — and is slated to meet Congress President on Friday.

In view of the presidential poll, scheduled on July 17, the chief has cancelled a three-day Odisha visit. He was supposed to go there on June 22; now, he will go there in the first week of July.

On Thursday, senior Congress leader said it would be better if there was consensus. Asked whether there was any possibility of reaching an agreement on Pranab Mukherjee’s successor, the Congress leader said, “I cannot say what the government is thinking.”

Naidu spoke to Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, a part of the opposition bloc, and Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu, a ally, on the

Chandrababu said he would support Modi’s call on the presidential nominee. Pawar, however, offered no assurance and said he would be in the national capital in a few days to discuss the matter.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said the BJP-led NDA at present had 54% of the total votes in its favour and suggested more parties were “ready to cooperate” with the BJP, taking the tally of votes to 65%.

Shah begins his three-day visit to Mumbai on Friday. He is likely to meet allies like Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. Shiv Sena has asked for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat to be nominated, but Bhagwat has rejected the proposal.