Prez Polls: PM Modi chairs BJP Parliamentary Board meeting

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for the BJP Parliamentary Board meeting on Monday to discuss the Presidential poll candidate.

Parties that have agreed to go with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s choice include Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK and the TDP, which rules Andhra Pradesh.

The Left Front has said if the NDA doesn’t announce its candidate by Tuesday, the opposition will announce its own candidate.The Congress and the Left have indicated that the government wants cooperation not consensus – a claim BJP chief Amit Shah has denied.

The BJP is expected to contact opposition leaders once again after the name of its Presidential candidate is decided.

The Shiv Sena has named 91-year-old agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan and Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of BJP’s ideological mentor RSS, as its top choices. In the two last Presidential elections, the party has supported Pranab Mukherjee and Pratibha Patil – both of whom were UPA candidates.

All BJP lawmakers and ministers, meanwhile, have been summoned to Delhi to get the nomination process underway. The elected representatives will have to sign the papers nominating the NDA candidate.

A total of four nomination papers have to be submitted — each needs 50 nominators and 50 seconders. Two days have been allocated for the signature process – June 19 and 20.

The nomination is expected to be submitted on June 23. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to be present for the submission before he departs for the US the next day.

Earlier on Sunday BJP president Amit Shah and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday discussed the Presidential election, which sources from both sides said was “friendly and cordial” at a time their alliance has come under some strain. The 90-minute meeting at Matoshree, the Thackerays’ residence, was attended by Uddhav’s son Aditya, who lead Sena’s youth wing, and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

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The BJP-led NDA holds 48.10% of the votes in the Rajya Sabha while the Opposition parties hold a combined total of 51.90%. With voting expected to be close, it is expected that both sides will field their own nominations for the post of President of India.


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