Former prime minister and Janata Dal(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda on Thursday said his party would support any candidate selected by the Opposition parties as the presidential nominee.
“Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel met me and sought our party’s support for a joint candidate fielded by the Opposition parties in the upcoming election. I told him that my party will support any candidate fielded by them,” Gowda told reporters.
Though Sonia invited him to a meeting of the Opposition parties on Friday in New Delhi to discuss the candidature, Gowda deputed Mandya MP C S Puttaraju to attend it, as he will be returning to Bengaluru to take care of some pressing work.
The meeting will held as part of the luncheon hosted by Sonia, where the top leaders of several Opposition parties will explore the possibility of fielding a joint candidate.
The meeting will be attended by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and JD(U) veteran Sharad Yadav — who, according to sources, is a possible candidate for the top post — among others.
The leaders will also discuss issues such as a grand alliance for the upcoming Assembly polls in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka, as well as the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.