Presidential Election 2017: JD(U) skips all party meet; to miss joint Oppn parley with Meira Kumar as well

The Janata Dal (United) will not attend the meeting called by the joint Opposition, with party leaders keen on avoiding a meeting with presidential candidate Meira Kumar, ANI reports.

File image of Nitish Kumar. PTI

File image of Nitish Kumar. PTI

As part of their campaign for presidential and vice-presidential elections, Opposition candidates Meira Kumar and Gopalkrishna Gandhi will hold an interactive session with MPs of 18 non-NDA parties on Sunday. According to PTI, this is the first such joint outreach to be attended by all Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha MPs of non-NDA political parties organised in the Parliament annex.

The interactive session, the sources say, will see Meira Kumar, the  Opposition's presidential nominee, and Gandhi, its vice-presidential candidate, make their presentations before them. They will also answer any queries by MPs and engage with them in the closed-door interactive session, not open to the media.

"I don't think it is correct for our party to attend the meeting. I myself met Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the Opposition's vice-president candidate and conveyed to him that, in the wake of the current situation it won't be good for us to attend a meeting called by the Opposition. Our relation with Meira Kumar is very old and she will also be there. It won't look good on our part to go there," JDU leader Sharad Kumar Yadav told ANI.

Yadav added that they would support Gopalkrishna Gandhi for the post of vice-president, but wouldn't attend the meeting because of the resulting situation. The JDU has extended support to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Ram Nath Kovind, over Opposition candidate Meira Kumar, despite being a part of the same political faction.

The JDU also skipped the all party meeting called by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government on Sunday, not to show any retaliation, but, as per their own admission, due to busy schedule. JDU leader KC Tyagi added that they were not boycotting the event, and that an MLAs meeting was also being held at Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar's residence.

While the election for the presidential post will be held on 17 July, the vice-presidential elections, who is also the chairman of Rajya Sabha, will be held on 5 August.

Though the numbers are stacked in favour of the ruling dispensation, the Opposition has made it a battle of ideologies. As many as 17 non-NDA parties, including Congress, the Left parties, TMC, BSP, SP, DMK, NCP, RJD, JMM JD-S and NC, are supporting Meira Kumar.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jul 16, 2017 18:00 PM

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