Presidential Election 2017: AAP kept out of Opposition's discussions on candidate

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was kept out of the discussions to identify a presidential candidate on Wednesday after the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party struck down a proposal for the same, reports Times of India. The proposal to include AAP had been moved by CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee in the last meeting in May attended by 17 opposition parties. It was shot down in Wednesday's meeting by NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad, who cited the objectionable conduct of some AAP members as the reason for keeping them out of the discussions.

The report further said that senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav had also said that AAP members had been disrespectful of opposition leaders. Some of the participants had suggested that AAP would want to support the opposition candidate in order to avoid supporting the BJP, as it had troubled relations with the ruling government over the administration of Delhi.

File image of AAP Convener Arvind Kejriwal. AFP

File image of AAP Convener Arvind Kejriwal. AFP

Amar Ujala quoted Azad as saying that AAP leaders had not behaved appropriately. Other Congress leaders called AAP a branch of the RSS and the B-team of the BJP. They further said that the party had caused enough trouble in Goa, Punjab and Gujarat.

The opposition parties had met in the Parliament chamber of the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad. The leaders including Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge from the Congress, JD-U's Sharad Yadav, RJD's Lalu Prasad, CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury and NCP's Praful Patel. Derek O'Brien of the TMC, RS Bharathi of the DMK, Ram Gopal Yadav of the SP and Satish Chandra Misra from the BSP were also present.

"The nitty gritty details were not discussed. No names have been short-listed yet," Azad said after the 30-minute meeting.

The nominations for the presidential election were opened by the issuance of a notification by the Election Commission on 14 June. The elections themselves will be held on 17 July.

Six candidates filed their nominations on the first day. They include K Padmarajan from Salem in Tamil Nadu, Anand Singh Kushwaha from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, A. Bala Raj from Mahbubnagar in Telangana, Saira Bano Patel from Mumbai, Abdul Hamid Patel from Mumbai, and Kondekar Vijayprakash from Pune in Maharashtra.

The BJP, on Wednesday, stepped up its efforts to get maximum support for its presidential candidate with the three-member party panel speaking to a number of allies as well as opposition parties, amid indication that its nominee will file nomination next week. They ruled out filing of nomination by its candidate this week as the consultation process will take more time with Union ministers Rajnath Singh and M Venkaiah Naidu, two members of the BJP panel, scheduled to meet Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Friday as they work to evolve a consensus.

They are likely to meet Sitaram Yechury of the CPI(M) following the meeting with Gandhi.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jun 15, 2017 09:24 AM

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