New Delhi: Opposition parties will meet on 22 June to decide on fielding a consensus candidate for the presidential election, with the National Democratic Alliance(NDA) declaring Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind as its nominee for the post, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Naresh Agarwal said Monday.
“The parties will meet and decide whether or not to field a consensus opposition candidate for the 17 July presidential election," he said. Communist Party of India (CPI) national secretary D. Raja said Union ministers Rajnath Singh and M. Venkaiah Naidu, who were part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) three-member panel formed to hold discussions and build a consensus on a presidential candidate, had not proposed any name.
“Now, they have named a person with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) background. We are against it, but we will have to discuss the issue within the CPI and with other opposition parties. A meeting will be held soon to discuss the same," he said.
Raja said Naidu spoke to him over the phone after BJP chief Amit Shah announced Kovind’s name and sought the CPI’s support for his candidature. All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad said the non-NDA parties will discuss the issue before taking any step.