BJP president Amit Shah on Monday constituted a three-member committee to reach out to other political parties for a consensus on the National Democratic Alliance’s candidate for the coming presidential poll. Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and M. Venkaiah Naidu are its members.
The last date for nomination for the election is June 28 and voting is scheduled for July 17.
Mr. Shah had postponed a trip to Arunachal Pradesh, scheduled for June 12 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked him to stay in Delhi for consultations. What is significant is that the committee’s remit is to talk to all political parties, not just the NDA.
Sources in the BJP said the committee would talk to Opposition leaders as “the name of the candidate fielded by us could be acceptable to people in that camp as well.”
Among the NDA constituents, the Shiv Sena has been giving the BJP some jitters as their relationship has been strained, especially in Maharashtra. The BJP has claimed support from the YSR Congress, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and both factions of the AIADMK, which it hopes will make up for any shortfall if the Shiv Sena defects.
Opposition parties have decided to field a common candidate and are waiting for the ruling party to announce its candidate.