The process of filing nominations for the presidential poll began today with six persons filing papers for the July 17 election. The nomination process would continue till June 28. The notification for the election was issued by the Election Commission (EC) today. All the nominations filed today are set to be rejected as none has the mandatory support of 100 electors -- 50 proposers and as many seconders. K Padmarajan from Tamil Nadu, Anand Singh Kushwaha from Madhya Pradesh, A Bala Raj from Telangana, a couple Saira Bano Mohammed Patel and Mohammed Patel Abdul Hamid from Mumbai, and Kondekar Vijayprakash from Pune filed the nomination papers. At least four of the candidates have not deposited Rs 15,000 of security money. The ruling NDA and a loosely knit group of opposition parties have intensified efforts to zero in on a "mutually acceptable" presidential candidate. But they would go their separate ways if a consensus proves elusive. After a prolonged silence on the issue, BJP chief Amit Shah has constituted a three-member committee comprising Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu which would hold consultations with the NDA allies and the opposition on the issue.
They would meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday. Leaders of opposition parties held their meeting this afternoon to chalk out their joint strategy and come up with a consensus candidate. No names were discussed today though. Sources said the opposition leaders would try and come out with some possible names for the post of president, but will await the government initiative in this regard. In a bid to ensure that non serious candidates do not file nomination for the prestigious election, laws were amended a few years ago. Now, a candidate who is supported by 50 'electors' and seconded by another 50 can file nomination. Elected members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and elected members of state legislative assemblies are the electors. If the elections are held in case both the NDA and the opposition field their candidates, then the results would be announced on July 20. The term of present incumbent Pranab Mukherjee would come to an end on July 24.