With the BJP setting in motion the process to select a Presidential candidate, a section of the Opposition parties now feel that the government may come up with a name acceptable to them.
They believe the constitution of the committee with Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu as members is a positive sign.
The “moderate panel”, as some of the opposition leaders put it, is expected to come up with a “moderate” candidate whom the Opposition could also support.
Sources said the Congress could also agree if the BJP-led NDA comes up with a candidate from the Dalit or tribal communities. The Opposition camp feels that the BJP may look for candidates like a former chief justice.
The Opposition expects that the BJP panel could throw names like that of Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu, former Governor S C Jamir and even Kerala Governor and former Chief Justice of India P Sadasivam as the Presidential candidate.
However, this may not mean that there will be no contest as the Left parties may field their own candidate in a redux of 2002 when it fielded Captain Laxmi against A P J Abdul Kalam, who got support from the then ruling NDA and most of the Opposition, including Congress.
Though the ruling side have enough numbers, the entire socialist parties may break ranks with the Opposition to vote if BJP fields former socialist Hukumdev Narain Yadav as its vice presidential candidate.