Sat, 02 Jul 2022

New Delhi [India], June 21 (ANI): Former Minister of Finance Yashwant Sinha's tweet on 'larger national cause' has sparked fresh speculation about the Opposition choosing him as their candidate for the upcoming presidential election.

Taking to Twitter today, Yashwant Sinha wrote, "I am grateful to Mamataji for the honour and prestige she bestowed on me in the TMC. Now a time has come when for a larger national cause I must step aside from the party to work for greater opposition unity. I am sure she approves of the step."Leaders of Opposition parties will meet in Delhi on Tuesday afternoon to finalise a joint nominee for the Presidential election. Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury also met NCP leader Sharad Pawar for the Opposition leaders' meeting to decide the candidate for the Presidential polls.

On March 13, 2021, ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections, upset Sinha quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and joined Trinamool Congress in Kolkata.

The Opposition has had a tough time last week while picking their candidate for the presidential election after NCP chief Sharad Pawar declined their offer for the Opposition's presidential candidate.

Leaders of 17 political parties joined a crucial meeting of opposition parties convened by Mamata Banerjee to build consensus on fielding a joint candidate against the NDA in the presidential election here.

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, NC chief Farooq Abdullah and Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi have so far turned down the offer to be the Opposition's Presidential polls candidate.

In a statement, Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and C Rajagopalachari, said several esteemed leaders of the Opposition have done him the honour of thinking of him for the Opposition's candidature in the upcoming election for the presidency.

"I am most grateful to them. But having considered the matter deeply I see that the Opposition's candidate should be one who will generate a national consensus and a national atmosphere beside Opposition unity. I feel there will be others who will do this far better than I, he said.

"And so I have requested the leaders to give the opportunity to such a person. May India get a President worthy of the office presaged by Rajaji as the last Governor-General and inaugurated by Dr Rajendra Prasad as our first President, stated Gandhi.

"Several parties were here today. We've decided we will choose only one consensus candidate. Everybody will give this candidate our support. We will consult with others. This is a good beginning. We sat together after several months, and we will do it again," TMC leader Mamata Banerjee had said after the meeting on June 15.

CPI MP Binoy Viswam who participated in the meeting said that Mamta Banarjee had proposed NCP's Sharad Pawar's name as the Presidential candidate of the Opposition. Pawar did not accept that proposal.

TMC, Congress, CPI, CPI(M), CPIML, RSP, Shiv Sena, NCP, RJD, SP, National Conference, PDP, JD(S), DMK, RLD, IUML and JMM - participated in the meeting held at the Constitution Club of India here.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will hold its parliamentary board meeting here on Tuesday where it is likely to finalise its pick for the election slated to be held on July 18, sources said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to join the meeting virtually.

The BJP has already formed a 14-member management team to oversee the election. Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is the convenor of this team.

BJP chief JP Nadda held a key meeting on Sunday to brainstorm on the upcoming election where members of the management team were present.

The meeting was attended by senior leaders like Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Ashwini Vaishnaw, G Kishan Reddy, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Vinod Tawde, CT Ravi, Sambit Patra and others.

Notably, Nadda and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh were entrusted with the responsibility of holding talks with all political parties over the candidate for presidential polls.

They have held talks with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, Trinamool Congress president and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Janata Dal (United) leader and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Biju Janata Dal supremo and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah but no outcome has come so far.

The late date for filing nominations is June 29, the polling will take place on July 18 and the votes will be counted on July 21.

Opposition leaders, who met in the national capital on June 15, announced that they have decided to field one consensus candidate for the presidential polls.

Leaders of 17 political parties joined a crucial meeting of opposition parties convened by Mamata Banerjee to build consensus on fielding a joint candidate against the NDA in the presidential elections.

TMC, Congress, CPI, CPI(M), CPIML, RSP, Shiv Sena, NCP, RJD, SP, National Conference, PDP, JD(S), DMK, RLD, IUML and JMM - participated attended the meeting held at the Constitution Club of India in New Delhi on June 15.

The President is elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both the Houses of Parliament and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of States and the Union Territories of Delhi and Pondicherry.

The presidential election is slated to be held on July 18 and votes will be counted on July 21. (ANI)

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