Bhubaneswar: Ahead of next month’s presidential election, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has spoken to several leaders from opposition parties, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, as well as NDA partners.
Sources said that the BJP-led NDA government is trying to build consensus with the opposition to avoid an election.
Sources said that Rajnath Singh has also spoken to Congress’s Mallikarjun Kharge, Odisha Chief Minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik, and Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav. The Defense Minister also spoke to alliance partner and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who heads the Janata Dal-United.
It is learn that the senior leader will also speak to NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, and leaders of other political parties.
Sources said that the BJP is trying to build a consensus on a presidential candidate and no name has been suggested to opposition leaders. “Rajnath Singh also tried to know what the opposition leaders were thinking,” a source said.
Kharge said: “Rajnath Singh called me and spoke about the Presidential polls. But when asked about the proposal, there was no response. I am saying if the opposition comes up with a non-controversial name… will the government accept that? It’s a formality.”
On Sunday, the BJP had authorized party chief JP Nadda and Rajnath Singh for consultation with other political parties for the presidential election.”They will hold consultation with NDA partners, UPA constituents and even independent members of Parliament,” the BJP had said.