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Presidential election 2022: BJP reaches out to Mamata, Kharge; no consensus in Oppn

The BJP has given Singh and national president JP Nadda the authority to speak with other parties in order to get an agreement on a presidential candidate. The defence minister called Kharge, Banerjee, and Yadav, as well as other politicians. According to reports, opposition lawmakers questioned Singh about the BJP-led NDA's presidential choice.

Presidential election 2022 BJP reaches out to Mamata Kharge no consensus in Opposition gcw
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New Delhi, First Published Jun 16, 2022, 9:29 AM IST

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke with opposition leaders Mamata Banerjee, Mallikarjun Kharge, and Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday to try to reach an agreement on a presidential candidate for the July 18 elections. According to reports, the top BJP leader called these figures on the same day the Opposition had a large conference to discuss a common candidate for the elections.

The BJP has given Singh and national president JP Nadda the authority to speak with other parties in order to get an agreement on a presidential candidate. The defence minister called Kharge, Banerjee, and Yadav, as well as other politicians. According to reports, opposition lawmakers questioned Singh about the BJP-led NDA's presidential choice.

Meanwhile, Nadda has reached out to allies the NPP and the LJP. The party president also spoke with National Conference head Farooq Abdullah, whose name was mentioned at the opposition conference as one of two.

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The opposition meeting was attended by leaders from 17 parties, including the Congress, SP, NCP, DMK, RJD, and Left parties. Participants included Shiv Sena, CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML), National Conference, PDP, JD(S), RSP, IUML, RLD, and JMM leaders.

Several politicians pushed Sharad Pawar to run as the unified opposition candidate at the meeting, but the veteran leader spurned the idea again again. He had also declined to meet with CPI(M) party secretary Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday. Mamata had visited with Pawar individually to persuade him and discuss the elections with him.

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After Pawar refused the offer, Mamata offered Abdullah, a former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, and Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi as prospective opposition candidates, according to insiders. Gandhi, the 77-year-old former West Bengal governor, was the undisputed opposition nominee for vice president in 2017 but was defeated by M Venkaiah Naidu.

The opposition parties will meet again on June 20-21, with Pawar hosting the meeting in Mumbai. The presidential elections will be held on July 18, with the results announced on July 21. The deadline for nominations is June 29.

Also Read: 10 things elected representatives should keep in mind while voting for India's next President

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