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Presidential Election 2017: Opposition committed to put up joint candidate, says Congress

New Delhi: The Congress on Friday made it clear that a united Opposition is committed to win the presidential election by putting up a joint candidate against the NDA nominee and all synergies are being constructively pooled for that endeavour.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said deliberations in this regard are underway "without any fear, favour or ego". "The widest spectrum of opposition is committed to ensuring the most credible and winning face in the presidential election to give a befitting reply to fight and win the presidential election against the government NDA nominee. I can tell you with assurance that every possible effort
in that direction is underway without fear or favour or restriction or ego and all synergies of the wider opposition are being constructively polled for that endeavour and for that result," he told reporters when asked on the issue.

File image of President Pranab Mukherjee. PTI

File image of President Pranab Mukherjee. PTI

Without disclosing possible names that have cropped up for the presidential election due in July to replace Pranab Mukherjee, he said, "We are fighting to win, let me be very clear."

Singhvi said many meetings have been held already in this regard and more such meetings will take place in the coming days to select a credible candidate who has a countrywide appeal. "A widest consultative process alone can generate that degree of consensus when everybody's private individual predilection or ego is submerged for the larger common good," he said. He admitted that this is an ongoing process and not a process which is "episodic".

Sources said the Congress is working with a majority of opposition parties to put up a consensus candidate. Though the NDA is short of around 20,000 votes in the election, it is banking on the support of some parties like the YSR Congress and the AIADMK.

The Congress, however, is hoping of a split in the NDA if the opposition decides on a candidate who has a "grand all- India stature" and has mass appeal and personality. "Presidential election is more fought by personality rather than by numbers," said a leader, adding that the opposition is trying to get "floaters and stranglers" to vote for its candidate.

The leader admitted that the NDA has more numbers as of now but everything will depend on the candidate. NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Congress leader and former Speaker Meira Kumar, senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and former West Bengal Governor Gopal Gandhi are among the names being considered by opposition parties as their joint candidate.

Updated Date: May 12, 2017 22:03 PM

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