CPI(M) gives Govt. June 20 as 'deadline' to declare Prez candidate

CPI(M) gives Govt. June 20 as 'deadline' to declare Prez candidate

But the BJP president made it clear that the party would hold another round of consultations with opposition parties; this time the committee would "go back to them with a name".

Singh and Naidu, who are part of a BJP panel to work out a consensus on the presidential nominee, met Yechury as part of its efforts to reach out to the opposition.

The BJP had set up a committee comprising Mr Naidu, Mr Singh and Arun Jaitley, who is now overseas, to consult other political parties. "But that they did not convey.they will take some time to do that".

Union minister of state for shipping Pon Radhakrishnan told TOI said the BJP has been calling upon all Tamil Nadu parties to support the BJP in the presidential polls.

"We said if they can think of a democratic, secular candidate, we can consider it (the candidature)", Reddy said after the meeting that last nearly 30 minutes.

Gopalkrishna Gandhi: Former Governor of West Bengal and Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi could be the Congress-led opposition's choice for the President's post.

“They have not given any names; since they have not given names, there is no question of consensus.

The first meeting between the government and the opposition on presidential elections remained inconclusive today as no name was discussed by the either side.

Clearly anticipating that the BJP is close to declaring the official nominee, the CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Saturday said that if the NDA failed to reveal its name for the Presidential election by June 20, he would exhort the Opposition to announce the joint candidate on June 21.

CPI (M) Politburo members Prakash Karat and Brinda Karat also attended the meeting.

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The key question thus remains who would be ruling NDA's candidate as proposed by Modi in due course. "Our chief minister, along with senior ministers, will hold discussion and decide who to support, within two days", he told reporters. "With no names being mentioned by the government, the matter could not make any headway".

"We would have certainly thought about such a person, but they did not suggest any name".

Naidu explained the objectives of the consultation process to the opposition leaders, saying that the prime minister and the BJP chief wished for such discussions before the candidate was finalised and were keen to seek the views of the parties and their support. "So, there is nothing to think about when they did not suggest any name", Yechury said.

Naidu on Thursday spoke to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu over the same.

The sources said that Naidu stated during the meeting that the government was aware of the names being discussed by the opposition parties as their probable candidates as the "media has already reported their names". "But unfortunately, that has not come", one of the sources said.

Throughout the day, there were strong murmurs around Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj's name being proposed for President but none came on record to speak about the issue.

Criticising the BJP for not naming possible candidates, Yechury called the talks "more of a PR exercise" and reiterated the person occupying the president's post had to be an individual with "impeccable" secular credentials. Barring the Left Front, nearly all parties including Congress supported Kalam's candidature.

Sure of its victory, the BJP will also choose its candidate with an aim to break the new found unity in the Opposition.

Questioned about the goal of the meeting, Kharge said, "That is only to meet and they are seeking cooperation".

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