Prez polls: No names, no support, Sonia tells Rajnath, Venkaiah

Prez polls: No names, no support, Sonia tells Rajnath, Venkaiah

Prez polls: No names, no support, Sonia tells Rajnath, Venkaiah
The BJP on Friday formally started the process to consult opposition on the presidential elections with senior ministers Rajnath Singh and M Venkaiah Naidu meeting Congress President Sonia Gandhi, but the duo was tight-lipped on probable nominees.


Singh and Naidu had a 30-minute discussion with Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence during which senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge were also present.

The two ministers did not share the names of the probable candidates for the presidential election and merely informed Gandhi that the nomination process would be completed by next Friday, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarks on his US visit.

“When they have not given specific names – or one or two, three, like that – (then) there is no question of consensus. If they come with some name, we could have considered,” Kharge told reporters after the meeting.

He said the purpose of the meeting was only to seek cooperation on the preisdential elections. “What I can guess is just they are seeking cooperation because they have already got something in their mind. That is why they have not given the name,” Kharge said.

The ministers are also meeting CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and fixed up appointments with NCP chief Sharad Pawar, BSP supremo Mayawati, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and other opposition leaders.

Azad said instead of disclosing names, the two ministers wanted the Congress to reveal its cards.

“...since no names are being given, there is no question of any discussion and cooperation. They should give us the name and then seek cooperation,” Azad, the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, told reporters here.

Singh and Naidu are part of the three-member ministerial team constituted by BJP President Amit Shah to consult various political parties on the presidential elections.

Naidu has already spoken with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is also chief of ally TDP, PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss and N Rangaswamy of the All India Congress (NR) and sought their cooperation.
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