Rajnath speaks to key Oppn leaders as BJP eyes consensus prez candidate
Rajnath Singh

New Delhi: The BJP on Wednesday began the consultation exercise on evolving a consensus name for the presidential polls with senior party leader Rajnath Singh speaking to a number of key opposition leaders including Mallikarjun Kharge, Mamata Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav, sources said on Wednesday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has authorised Singh and party’s chief JP Nadda to consult with other parties for building consensus on a presidential candidate.

Singh made the calls to Kharge, Banerjee and Yadav besides some other leaders on a day when leaders of 17 opposition parties met here to build a consensus on a joint opposition candidate.

The sources said opposition leaders asked Singh about BJP-led NDA’s nominee for the presidential election.

During the meeting convened by Banerjee, at least two more names emerged — National Conference( NC) supremo Farooq Abdullah and Gopalkrishna Gandhi, after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar declined to be a candidate.

The election for the president will be held on July 18, while the nomination process began from Wednesday. Incumbent Ram Nath Kovind’s term ends on July 24.

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