In the run-up to the 15th presidential elections scheduled to be held on 17 July, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday called its MPs and MLAs to New Delhi for the signing of nomination papers, media reports say. The process to elect the next head of state began on Monday. BJP's parliamentary board meeting is scheduled to take place at 12 pm on Monday.
— ANI (@ANI_news) June 19, 2017
All senior ministers of the party, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, will attend Monday's meeting, IANS reported. BJP is likely to announce its candidate on 22 June.
According to IANS, the board members will be briefed about the consultation of the three-member party committee formed to evolve consensus with the Opposition on the subject. This three-member committee, which was constituted by Shah last week, comprises of senior BJP leaders and Union ministers Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley.
Although, neither the Centre nor the Opposition have declared their presidential candidate, yet several names like that of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, have been doing the rounds. However, Swaraj dismissed claims of her nominations saying these were merely rumours.
Meanwhile, the BJP has been trying to gather support of its allies and other parties before the voting begins. Amit Shah met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday to discuss the issue, but reports suggested that the talks were unsuccessful. Thackeray reportedly rejected Shah's proposal that Narendra Modi be allowed to decide on a presidential candidate.
Naidu on Sunday held discussions with Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who heads the Lok Janshakti Party. He also met Samajwadi Party's Ram Gopal Yadav and Naresh Agrawal to come up with a mutually-acceptable candidate. Jaitley, on the other hand, spoke to leaders of the Trinamool Congress and Biju Janata Dal.
Earlier on Friday, BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu met CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury and assured him that they would come up with names in three-four days and sought his part's support, PTI reported.
The presidential poll, which is scheduled for 17 July, will conclude on 20 July when the counting of the votes begins. The last date for filing nominations is 28 June, but a candidate can withdraw from the electoral race until 1 July.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Jun 19, 2017 09:12 pm | Updated Date: Jun 19, 2017 09:12 pm