Published: Sat, April 22, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Presidential candidate should be 'firm secular person': Yechury

Presidential candidate should be 'firm secular person': Yechury

As always, however, senior party members, tried to downplay the Nitish-Sonia meeting saying it was merely a courtesy call and people should not try to read too much into it.

"Instead of reacting to Narendra Modi, we should be setting our own agenda", Nitish Kumar was quoted as telling Mrs Gandhi when he met her on Thursday at her 10 Janpath home in Delhi.

A common opposition candidate for President would begin the process.

With President Pranab Mukherjee's term drawing to a close, there were reports that Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat was one of the contenders and Shiv Sena, through its mouthpiece Saamna, also threw its weight behind Bhagwat. Sources, however, said the two leaders discussed the prospect of forging a wider Opposition unity and also field a joint candidate for the presidential poll.

After Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the Left's Sitaram Yechury has met Congress president Sonia Gandhi to discuss jointly fielding an opposition candidate against the nominee of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in the election for President in July.

Sources said the meeting between Nitish and Sonia took place on the invitation of the Congress president.

"We thought there can be some common candidate". It was not clear whether Nitish and Sonia discussed who would lead a possible Opposition front.

Lalu added "We have won the election when we are in alliance with each other and we have lost where we are not together". While a division between the "secular opposition" and "communal" BJP used to make the task for the ruling Congress easier, a fight was still put up.Many believe it would provide a good dry run and would help in the future task of cobbling a "mahagathbandhan" for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The names of both JD (U) veteran Sharad Yadav and NCP chief Sharad Pawar are doing the rounds.

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