Yashwant Sinha, a former minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, was on Tuesday named the Opposition’s presidential candidate in election next month.
“In the forthcoming Presidential elections, we have decided to elect a common candidate and stop the Modi government from doing further damage. At a subsequent meeting held today we have chosen Yashwant Sinha as a common candidate. We appeal to all political parties to vote for Yashwant Sinha,” said Jairam Ramesh, Congress’s communication chief.
“We appeal to BJP, its allies to support Yashwant Sinha as president so we can have a worthy ‘rashtrapati’ elected unopposed,” said the Opposition statement.
The presidential election is scheduled to be held on July 28 and counting of votes, if necessary, will take place on July 21. The BJP has enough votes to elect its candidate but has not named a person yet.
Sinha emerged as the consensus candidate of 13 opposition parties, including the Congress, the Trinamool Congresss and the Samajwadi Party, which met in Delhi on Tuesday to discuss the issue, PTI said quoting sources.
Opposition leaders, who gathered at the Parliament annexe for the meeting convened by NCP chief Sharad Pawar to decide on a consensus candidate for the presidential election, agreed on Sinha’s name, they said. An announcement to this effect is likely to be made soon, they said.
Sinha’s name came up after Pawar, Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Farooq Abdullah opted out of the race.’
The parties that attended the meeting include the Congress, NCP, TMC, CPI, CPI-M, Samajwadi Party, National Conference, AIMIM, RJD and AIUDF.
Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge and Ramesh, TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury and CPI’s D Raja were among those who participated in the meeting.
Five regional parties considered non aligned – TRS, BJD. AAP, SAD and YSRCP — stayed away. These parties had also stayed away from the June 15 meeting convened by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
(With inputs from PTI)
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Read More: Yashwant Sinha is Opposition consensus candidate for presidential election