Senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav has indicated that opposition parties will fight the presidential poll if the BJP proposes a candidate with strong Hindutva leanings, suggesting that those who believe in ‘love jihad’ are not bound by the Constitution. Yadav, seen as one of the choices of the Congress-led opposition if it fights the poll next month, said a consensus on the BJP-led NDA candidate can emerge if the name proposed by the ruling alliance believes in the Constitution and is bound by the constitutional propriety.
“If they (BJP) propose a name who believes in the Constitution, who understands it and believe in its propriety, then there can be a consensus. We will talk,” the Rajya Sabha member told PTI.
Asked to elaborate, he spoke of ‘love jihad’ and ‘ghar wapsi’, two issues linked to some Hindutva organisations, and said these run against the Constitution.
“In their three years of rule they have done things outside the Constitution, like ‘love jihad’. Where is it written in the Constitution? Our Constitution, in fact, allows adults to marry people of their choice irrespective of castes and religions.
“They have attacked this concept. They do nothing to remove caste barriers but practise ‘ghar wapsi’. Opposition parties will support a candidate who believes in the Constitution,” he said.
Opposition parties have been in talks to put up their own candidate for the election to the top constitutional post and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had recently hosted a lunch in which 17 parties, including the Left, the SP, the BSP, the RJD and the JD (U), had participated.
BJP president Amit Shah had recently said his party will speak to opposition parties over its choice of presidential candidate after it consults its allies.
He had, however, sidestepped a query on whether he will seek a consensus, saying “consensus is a word which is used in many ways”.
The numbers in the electoral college favour the ruling NDA, more so after it won the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls with a massive majority and later drew support from the YSRCP, an Andhra-based party.
The TRS, which is in power in Telangana, has hinted that it may support the NDA, which also hopes to get backing from both factions of the AIADMK in the poll.