NCP bats for 'mutual consent' on presidential nominee

| Updated: Jun 17, 2017 12:03 IST

New Delhi[India], June 17 (ANI): The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Saturday called for mutual consent on the selection of the name of Presidential polls nominee, saying that the Centre should first propose the name for the coveted post and then talk to the Opposition. "The central government has to take the decision first. We, as a responsible opposition have already said that the President should be elected with mutual consent. We will float our presidential nominee only if government does not take the decision on it. So let them decide first," NCP leader D.P. Tripathi told ANI. Yesterday, the first meeting between the government and the opposition on presidential elections remained inconclusive as no names were discussed by either side. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday met Communist Party of India (CPI) leaders D. Raja and Sudhakar Reddy at the latter's party office over presidential elections. Speaking to the reporters, CPI leader Sudhakar Reddy said, "On behalf of the three-member committee of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-- Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu met us today after meeting various political parties but didn't make any particular proposal. They only wanted a 'consensus candidate' asking who would be best suited. Only after being proposed from the government or from the ruling party, we can take a decision." Meanwhile, another CPI leader D. Raja said, "We have not proposed any name nor they have." Naidu also spoke to Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav and Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders Ram Gopal Yadav and Naresh Agrawal over phone and met Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and senior Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Satish Chandra Mishra in this regard. Meanwhile, two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veterans Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi went and met the Union Ministers in this regard. Since Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is on a four-day official visit to South Korea, Rajnath and Naidu are leaving no stone unturned to woo the opposition to build consensus on presidential nominee. The duo also held discussion with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her party colleagues Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge. After the meeting, Naidu said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah want a consensus before the candidate for the post of president is finalised. Naidu explained the twin objectives of the consultation process were to have the benefit of the views and suggestions of various parties in the matter and also to seek their support in the election. After exchange of views with the grand old party cadre, Naidu and Singh held discussion with Communist Party of India (Marxist) leaders Sitraram Yechury, Prakash Karat and Brinda Karat. According to reports, the BJP committee is holding discussions with all parties as they are trying to finalise a consensus candidate for presidential poll before Prime Minister Modi departs for foreign tour on June 24. The BJP was forced to form a panel for parleys with the opposition as Sonia constituted a sub-group of the opposition parties for the presidential election to create troubled waters for the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the country's coveted post. Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, TMC leader Derek O'Brien, Samajwadi Party's Ram Gopal Yadav, BSP's Satish Chandra Mishra, DMK leader R. S. Bharathi and NCP's Praful Patel are part of the sub-group. The election for the next President of India is to be held on July 17 as President Pranab Mukherjee will demit the office on July 25. The Election Commission of India (ECI) issued the notification in this regard and the process of the nomination has started that will continue till June 28. (ANI)