Presidential poll: AAP yet to reveal decision; BJP, Oppn name candidates

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Presidential poll: AAP yet to reveal decision; BJP, Oppn name candidates

The BJP parliamentary board named Droupadi Murmu, a tribal leader of the party from Odisha and the Oppn picked former Union minister Yashwant Sinha as their joint candidate

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Aam Aadmi Party | Presidential poll | Bharatiya Janata Party

Even as the ruling NDA and the opposition parties announced their presidential candidates on Tuesday, the AAP kept its cards close to its chest, saying it will reveal its position once the party’s top leadership takes a decision in this regard.

The BJP parliamentary board named Droupadi Murmu, a tribal leader of the party from Odisha, as the ruling National Democratic Alliance’s candidate for the presidential election.

Several major opposition parties, including the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the TMC (Trinamool Congress) picked former Union minister Yashwant Sinha as their candidate for the July 18 presidential polls.

Opposition leaders, who gathered at the Parliament annexe for the meeting convened by NCP chief Sharad Pawar to decide on a common candidate for the much discussed presidential election, unanimously agreed on Sinha’s name.

The veteran politician, who has “stepped aside” from the Trinamool Congress and was earlier with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), will file his nomination papers on June 27.

Meanwhile, BJP president J P Nadda announced the name of Murmu at a press conference following a meeting of the party top brass.

Murmu (64), a former Jharkhand governor, will be the first tribal woman to occupy the top constitutional post if she is elected, a strong possibility as numbers are stacked in favour of the BJP-led NDA.

On his party’s stand on the Opposition nominating Sinha as their candidate, AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson Sanjay Singh told reporters, “When our party’s top leadership will take a decision with regard to the presidential elections, we will share it with you”.

Asked to elaborate, he said, “At this point in time, I can only say that a final decision will be taken by our party’s top leadership, party’s national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.”

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader had on June 12 met NCP chief Pawar in Mumbai to discuss the upcoming presidential polls, amid talks about several opposition parties exploring the possibility of nominating the Maratha strongman as their joint candidate for the presidential elections.

During his meeting with Pawar, according to sources, Singh had conveyed to the NCP chief the AAP’s support to him in the presidential elections.

Pawar, however, refused to be the opposition parties’ nominee for the presidential election when West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Left leaders met him separately here on June 14.

After the party’s stupendous victory in Punjab Assembly polls earlier this year, the number of the AAP MPs in Rajya Sabha has grown from three to eight. The total strength of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party in the Upper House would further go up to 10 next month with two Rajya Sabha MPs from Punjab slated to complete their terms.

The AAP had last week skipped a crucial meeting of the opposition parties held here to build consensus on fielding a joint candidate against the BJP-led NDA in the presidential election.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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