BJP Parliamentary Board to meet to finalise prez nominee

Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray warns of 'big step' if loan waiver not implemented by July

BJP National President Amit Shah accompanied by Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and State BJP chief Raosaheb Danve meets Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya Thackeray at Matoshree in Mumbai on Sunday.

On the other hand, several BJP leaders have claimed that the party's choice for the post of the President will be a political person with strong BJP affiliation.

Congress, after the meeting of its party president Sonia Gandhi and BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu, said that the ruling party did not place any name of its nominee, forcing Congress to rule out any cooperation on a consensus.

Shah, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's closest adviser and top campaign strategist, played up the humble origins of Kovind, 71, who has served two terms in the upper house of parliament and is a practicing lawyer.

Most opposition parties - including the Congress, the Left Front and the Trinamool Congress - are waiting for the BJP to name its candidate.

According to informed sources, the board members would be briefed about the consultations held by the three-member party committee formed to evolve consensus with the opposition.

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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.

Referring to Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu reaching out to opposition parties earlier over the presidential polls, both CPI-M and CPI said they did not expect a "unilateral" decision from the BJP. This stand could spoil chances of the likes of MS Swaminathan, as suggested by the Shiv Sena, and "Metro Man" E Sreedharan.

It is not clear whether the board will announce its candidate today, as a party leader said it may authorise Shah to take a call. Nomination form of the candidate is to be signed by at least 50 electors as proposers and 50 as seconders for each set.

After meeting ministerial colleague Ram Vilas Paswan, Naidu told reporters that the NDA presidential candidate would be announced before June 23.

The BJP is expected to win the Presidential election comfortably.

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