BJP may not opt for an 'outsider' for president poll

BJP may not opt for an 'outsider' for president poll

The BJP appears to be disinclined to name any non-political "outsider or Kalam-type" candidate for the presidential election. 

The NDA nominee in all probability will be from within the BJP set up as the ruling top leadership is veering to the idea of not feilding a technocrat and an outsider -- a deviation from the stand of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who had surprisingly opted for missile man APJ Abdul Kalam to run for the top constitutional post.

A union minister said the RSS has pitched for nominating a political person and that too from the home grown stable for the presidential election scheduled to take place on July 17 for finding a replacement for Pranab Mukherjee who would retire a week later from the polling day. A feeling  among the Sangh Parivar,  explained the minister, is that Kalam for optics was fine but he did little to carry the message of the right wing ideology.

The BJP-constituted panel members and senior union ministers Rajnath Singh and M Venkaiah Naidu continued with its reach out exercise to understand what was going on in the minds of the opposition parties and the NDA allies.  Singh and Naidu met senior party leaders L K Advani and M M Joshi late Friday afternoon to keep them in the loop on the constulation process.

Earlier in the day, they met with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, CPI(M's) Sitharam Yechury, CPI's D Raja, SP's Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP's SC Mishra. BJP sources said if the panel is able to complete its reach out drive by Tuesday, then the name of the NDA candidate will be announced. In case the process gets extended then it will be done after International Yoga Day function gets over on Wednesday since Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the event at Lucknow.

At the Modi-led core committee meeting held recently, it was decided to announce the candidature before Modi's two-day US visit which starts from June 24.

The BJP, said a general secretary, is almost done with the internal exercise of getting nomination papers and other logistics ready besides interacting with party MPs and MLAs on the whole process as many would be voting for the first in presidential election.  The party does not want any vote to go waste and is keen to make it a spectacular show. 

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