Presidential polls: BJP panel meets Sonia Gandhi

RSTV Bureau

Union ministers Rajnath Singh and M Venkaiah Naidu are meeting Congress President Sonia Gandhi to discuss a consensus candidate for the Presidential elections.

File photo of home minister Rajnath Singh and finance minister Arun Jaitley.

File photo of home minister Rajnath Singh and finance minister Arun Jaitley.

The three-member BJP panel, which also includes Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, will later meet CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury to discuss the same issue.

BJP president Amit Shah on June 12 had appointed the three member panel to hold talks with opposition parties and allies in a bid to select a consensus candidate for the poll.

Reports suggest that Venkaiah Naidu has already spoken with NCP leader Praful Patel and BSP’s Satish Chandra Misra on the matter.

Patel and Misra are said to have assured Naidu their parties would take a call on a candidate after talks with the BJP panel.

Election Commission has issued the notification for the July 17 poll, beginning the nomination process for the election. The last date for filing papers is June 28.

BJP and the opposition are yet to reveal the names of their candidates.

Leaders of opposition parties are also meeting on Friday afternoon to chalk out a joint strategy for the presidential poll. They have already held several rounds of talks over the candidature of a united opposition.

The opposition’s 10-member sub-group is meeting for the first time after it was set up recently.  Leaders are expected to discuss possible names for the post of the President, but will await the government’s initiative on this matter before taking a final decision.