Presidential Elections 2022: Opposition to field common candidate, Sharad Pawar not in race
New Delhi, Jun 15: The key Opposition meeting called by Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee has adopted a resolution to field a common candidate in the forthcoming Presidential election.
"Opposition leaders adopted a resolution to field a common candidate in the forthcoming Presidential poll. A candidate who can truly serve as custodian of the Constitution and stop Modi govt from doing further damage to Indian democracy and India's social fabric," said Sudheendra Kulkarni.
"Several parties were here today. We've decided we will choose only one consensus candidate. Everybody will give this candidate our support. We will consult with others. This is a good beginning. We sat together after several months, and we will do it again," said Mamata Banerjee.
"In today's Opposition meeting, all parties proposed the name of Sharad Pawar for Presidential poll, but he said he cannot take this up now due to his health. All parties requested him to reconsider his decision," said Binoy Viswam, CPI after the meet.
While Banerjee mentioned the names of National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and Gopalkrishna Gandhi as other alternatives, senior opposition leaders said that the remark was made in "passing" and "not seriously".
Former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi was the consensus opposition candidate for the post of Vice President of India in 2017 but had lost to M Venkaiah Naidu in the election. He is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and C Rajagopalachari.
Leaders of 17 parties TMC, Congress, CPI, CPI(M), CPIML, RSP, Shiv Sena, NCP, RJD, SP, National Conference, PDP, JD(S), DMK, RLD, IUML and JMM - are participating in the Opposition leaders' meeting called by Mamata Banerjee ahead of Presidential election.
Next opposition meet
The next meeting of major opposition parties to deliberate on a consensus candidate for the Presidential election is likely to be held on June 20-21 and will be convened by NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai.
After the first meeting called by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Delhi and attended by 17 parties, the leaders said that it has been decided that a common candidate who will "uphold the democratic ethos of the country" will be chosen as the opposition nominee.
At the next meeting, the parties are expected to come up with names of leaders who could be widely acceptable.
The election to choose the next President of India will be held on July 18 and the results will be announced on July 21.