New Delhi, June 19: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Parliamentary Board meeting to finalise the NDA’s Presidential candidate for the country’s top post has got over. According to reports, the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj left midway to attend some prior engagement. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was attended by Nitin Gadkari, Amit Shah and other members of BJP’s highest decision-making body. No names have come out so far.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a final say on NDA’s Presidential candidate. His choice of candidate might decide the future course of action for the opposition as it may sit together and decide its own candidate. The opposition is already having its own deliberations. But it has not made the final decision as of now as it is waiting for the BJP to reveal its candidate. After the three-member BJP panel had met the opposition to build consensus on a common nominee, Congress member Ghulam Nabi Azad said that opposition support can only be given to a person, not to the BJP. He said that the BJP had not given them any names.
Meanwhile, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury reportedly has given an ultimatum to the ruling party to decide a name until June 20, else the opposition will decide its own candidate. If the Parliamentary Panel decides a candidate not acceptable to the opposition, Presidential polls will be inevitable. If BJP panel decides a candidate acceptable to the opposition, another round of talks may follow. (Also read: Presidential election: Sangh won’t let go its first chance to install Hindutva face; Advani, Joshi, Sushma Swaraj not out of race)
The poll has been notified on June 14 by the EC. The last day for nomination is June 28. The last date for scrutiny is June 29. The last day of withdrawal for the nomination will be July 1. Polling will be held on July 17, whereas the counting will be held on July 20. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leaving for the United States on June 24 and the ruling party will take a final call by June 23.