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Rajnath Singh speaks to Mamata Banerjee, other Oppn leaders as BJP seeks consensus on presidential candidate

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Singh made the calls to Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge and Akhilesh Yadav besides some other leaders on a day when leaders of 17 opposition parties met in New Delhi to build a consensus on a joint Opposition candidate

Rajnath Singh, Nadda reach out to Mamata Banerjee, other Oppn leaders as BJP seeks consensus on presidential candidate

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh: ANI

The BJP on Wednesday began the consultation exercise on evolving a consensus name for the presidential election with senior party leader Rajnath Singh speaking to a number of key opposition leaders including Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Mamata Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav, PTI reported on Wednesday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has authorised Singh and party’s chief JP Nadda to consult with other parties for building consensus on a presidential candidate.

Singh made the calls to Kharge, Banerjee and Yadav besides some other leaders on a day when leaders of 17 opposition parties met here to build a consensus on a joint opposition candidate.

Singh has also called Janata Dal (United) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to deliberate upon the presidential polls, PTI said citing sources.

The opposition leaders asked Singh about BJP-led NDA’s nominee for the presidential election, the report added.

During the meeting convened by Banerjee, at least two more names emerged — former Jammu and Kashmir CM Farooq Abdullah and ex-West Bengal governor and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi — after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar declined to be a candidate for the post of President.

The election for the President will be held on July 18, while the nomination process began from Wednesday. Incumbent Ram Nath Kovind’s term ends on July 24.

With inputs from PTI

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