According to a report of TOI, Narendra Modi has held informal discussion, to finalize the candidate for the position of President with, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari. Though a formal discussion could not be executed because Party President,Amit Shah was in Telangana.
The report also stated that, BJP leaders are in favour of nominating somebody from the party itself, as the candidate for the Presidential Elections. Where as, on the other hand opposition parties are also panning to come up with a common name as their candidate for the election. Regarding this, a social bonding get together over lunch of all the opposition parties have been organised by Sonia Gandhi at her residence, on 26 May.
Top opposition leaders are likely to attend the lunch meet hosted by Gandhi, however, Sharad Yadav will be representing JD(U), as Nitish Kumar has a prior engagement. The sources also said the Congress had not invited Delhi chief minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.
According to the sources, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, CPM’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja and JD(U) veteran Yadav, who is himself a possible contender for the top constitutional post, would attend the lunch. Invitations had been sent to JD(U), CPI, CPM, SP, DMK, NCP, RJD and TMC, besides some other big and small regional parties.
Congress has organised this meeting to all the opposition leaders together on one platform and unite them. Congress is also seeking to take forward this unity and use it tactfully during, the upcoming assembly polls in states such as Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka and also in Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
Many names have been suggested as probable candidates. Among them are former West Bengal governor and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Gopal Krishna Gandhi, former JD(U) president Yadav, Former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar and NCP chief Sharad Pawar. The NCP leader has, however, ruled himself out of the race.
Bihar chief minister Kumar, has also proposed the name of Pranab Mukherjee for a second term and suggested that the ruling BJP try and build consensus on him.