With the Opposition yet to pick its Presidential candidate for the Presidential polls, the BJP will hold its parliamentary board meeting on Tuesday where it’s likely to finalise its pick for the elections that are all set to be held on July 18.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Karnataka to celebrate International Yoga Day, is likely to join the meeting virtually and the BJP has already formed a 14-member management team to oversee the election.
With just over a week left in the deadline for nominations, both sides are trying to zero in on candidates with popular support.
Former union minister Yashwant Sinha posted a tweet that could intensify the speculation of him being considered as the opposition’s candidate for the July 18 presidential election.
“I am grateful to Mamata ji 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,” the 84-year-old leader said in a tweet.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to skip the opposition meeting later today and her nephew and Trinamool leader Abhishek Banerjee is likely to attend. Three candidates have so far turned down the request to be the joint opposition’s presidential candidate.
The BJP had earlier decided to name its presidential candidate by the end of this week. The ruling party on its own has about 49% of the Electoral College and to elect the President, one needs to cross the 50% mark.
BJP president JP Nadda and Union Minister Rajnath Singh have been entrusted the overall responsibility of coordination with NDA as well as UPA allies and other non-NDA, non-UPA allies to cobble up support to cross the halfway mark.
The two leaders have been reaching out to many parties. The BJP also formed a sort of a ‘crack team’ which has many Union Ministers as well as senior functionaries who are also doing their own bit of coordination, speaking to various potential candidates.