Saturday, September 30, 2023

Opposition to field Presidential candidate if no consensus over government nominee: Mamata

Himalayan Paths

New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) The Opposition parties will field a candidate in the Presidential election if the nominee suggested by the government is not acceptable to them, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said on Friday.

She said a small committee would be formed by the opposition leaders, who met over lunch, in case they have to choose a nominee.

Banerjee said the Opposition would accept a candidate of government choice if he or she is secular and one who would uphold the Constitution.

“For the Presidential election, the decision (of the meeting) is ‘Let us wait’ for the name of the candidate that may be given by the government, and if it satisfies all of us, then we can take a look at it. He should be secular and uphold the Constitution. If there is no consensus, then a committee (of opposition leaders) will be formed that will decide (on the opposition candidate),” she told reporters coming out of the luncheon meeting convened by Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Parliament House.

She said there was no harm in discussing a candidate with the government if it comes out with it.

She referred to the 2002 Presidential election when the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had floated A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s name and a consensus was evolved around it.

Asked about another term for incumbent Pranab Mukherjee, she said no names were discussed in the meeting.

Banerjee said all the parties were united in criticism of the government over Kashmir, violence in Saharanpur and demonetisation.

She said a joint statement to be issued after the meeting would reflect the opposition view on all the issues.

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