BJP starts talks on Prez poll; may talk to Naveen soon

New Delhi: Soon after the Election Commission of India (ECI) issued the notification on Wednesday for filing nominations for the July 17 Presidential poll, the ruling NDA and the Opposition parties have intensified efforts to choose a “mutually acceptable” presidential candidate. However, they will go their separate ways if no consensus is worked out on the issue.

Since Biju Janata Dal (BJD), a major regional party having 29 MPs and 118 MLAs, could play a decisive role in the upcoming Presidential poll, the BJP will soon talk to BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik in an effort to win his support.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu today discussed with Home Minister Rajnath Singh to reach out to different political parties in this connection.

Earlier this week, BJP president Amit Shah formed a three-member committee, consisting of Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu for consultations with the Opposition to reach a consensus on the Presidential candidate.

Opposition leaders will meet today to discuss the Presidential elections. The leaders likely to take part in the deliberations include Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad , RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav, BSP’s Satish Chandra Mishra, TMC leader Derek O’Brien, DMK’s R.S. Bharathi and NCP’s Praful Patel.

Lawmakers of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, and state legislators comprise the Electoral College that will vote in the July 17 election.

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