An election to choose the next President of India appears inevitable as the initial round of talks between the BJP and the opposition is about to end. A consensus candidate appears elusive – with the BJP yet to name its candidate and most of the opposition parties insisting that they can only come to decision when a name is announced.
The BJP has now called its parliamentarians and legislators to Delhi to put nomination papers for the election in order. The names are expected to be added after the BJP parliamentary party meet, which is expected to meet today, comes to a decision, party sources have said.
The BJP is expected to contact opposition leaders once again after the name of its Presidential candidate is announced. The three-member ministerial team formed to build consensus – comprising Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu – has already reached out to the opposition.
Mr Shah has rejected opposition claims that the government came without names and they want cooperation, not consensus. Mr Shah said had any name been cited, the opposition would have complained that the government has already made up its mind.
Most opposition parties – including the Congress, the Left Front and the Trinamool Congress – are waiting for the BJP to name its candidate.
In South, the AIADMK, the TDP and allies like Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janashakti Party said they will stand by PM Modi’s decision. BJP ally Shiv Sena, though, has objected to it.
The nomination is expected to be submitted on June 23 – Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to be present for the submission before he departs for the US the next day. The elected representatives – all whom will vote in the election – will sign the papers nominating the NDA candidate.
A total of four nomination papers to be submitted, each needs 50 nominators and 50 seconders. Two days have been allocated for the signature process – June 19 and 20.