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PM Modi meets BJP Parliamentary Board to discuss Presidential candidate

New Delhi, June 19:-- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met with the BJP's Parliamentary board, including most senior members of the BJP, to decide the  ruling party's choice for the next President of India.

 

According to media reports, an announcement of the name of the party's candidate is likely to be made on Monday  as the PM will leave for foreign visit in  a few days from now.

 

BJP chief Amit Shah, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley  and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who denied reports of being in the race for Presidential candidate, were among others, present at the meeting.

 

Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said since the Government has not started any discussion on any name,  the opposition will wait for 2-3 more days before taking its own decision.

 

Earlier, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury had said that if the NDA doesn't announce its candidate by Tuesday, the opposition will announce its own candidate.

 

It is expected that the BJP at Monday's meeting will name the candidate of its choice before the party top brass goes back to the opposition for a consensus.

 

 Speculations are there that the Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot, Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu's names are on the BJP's wishlist.

 

 The Left Front has said if the NDA doesn't announce its candidate by Tuesday, the opposition will announce its own candidate.

 

However, according to political observers, the BJP is likely to spring a surprise and try to disarm the opposition with the choice of its candidate.

 

The names opposition is said to be considering include former Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar.

 

If an election is held, the balance will be in favour of the  BJP and its allies because of their number and the promise that some regional parties have made to back the candidate of the ruling coalition.

 

The BJP has assigned three senior ministers - Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu - to consult with  the opposition parties and the Shiv Sena, a BJP-ally.

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