President election: Nitish Kumar meets Sonia Gandhi, wants united Opposition candidate

CPM has already decided after a thorough discussion in their Politburo that if there is a common Presidential candidate from the Opposition, they would extend support.

Written by Anand Mishra , Manoj CG | New Delhi | Published:April 21, 2017 6:17 am
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar leaves 10, Janpath after meeting Sonia Gandhi. Express Photo by Prem Nath Pandey

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday held a hurriedly-scheduled meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the two are learnt to have discussed the issue of putting up a common nominee for the Presidential polls in July. Nitish is learnt to have spoken to CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury over the phone on the same issue.

Sources said the meeting between Nitish and Sonia took place on the invitation of the Congress president. The Bihar CM, after arriving in the national capital on Thursday, first went to the residence of INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala in the morning. Late in the afternoon, he drove to Sonia’s 10, Janpath, residence where the two leaders spoke for around half-an-hour.

Though there was no official word on it, sources said Nitish told Sonia that she should think of a common candidate for the Presidential election and assured her of his party’s support.

CPM has already decided after a thorough discussion in their Politburo that if there is a common Presidential candidate from the Opposition, they would extend support.

Sources in the CPM said it would prefer somebody who is not a leader of any particular party so that there can be “widest possible unity”. But at the same time, the candidate should be a “firm secular person”. “The idea is to find somebody on whose name all of us can unite,” a senior CPM leader said.

The issue was also discussed at a meeting between the top leadership of CPM and CPI here on Thursday.

“We thought there can be some common candidate. If suggestions come, Left parties will also participate in the discussion. The preliminary idea is whether all of us can come together. So if we come to an understanding that we can fight together, some names will be discussed. I do not think it is going to be very difficult. We can find somebody maybe among the political leaders.We can discuss the names of some secular democratic personalities,” CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy said.

He added: “From the Left, we do not have any candidate at the moment.”

JD(U) general secretary K C Tyagi refused to divulge much regarding the Nitish-Sonia meeting, saying that he was not present, but reiterated the party’s stand that it strongly favours that Opposition parties put up a common Presidential nominee to contest against NDA’s candidate.

“We are sticking to our stand. A common Presidential nominee by Opposition parties will be the touchstone of the larger Opposition unity against BJP. Congress being the largest party should take the lead in the matter,” Tyagi told The Indian Express.

The JD(U) leader hastened to add that there was no reference to any name in the Nitish-Sonia meeting. He said the discussion focused on how “all opposition parties have to work together with a common goal against the BJP.”

NCP on Tuesday ruled out Sharad Pawar being in the contest for Presidential elections, while sources in JD(U) have downplayed speculation of Sharad Yadav being in the fray.

Nitish had first broached the idea of non-NDA parties propping up a common Presidential candidate in February when he held meetings with Yechury and Reddy in the national capital. He had also shared his “concern” with leaders of NCP, CPM, CPI and INLD over the possibility of BJP propping up “somebody with RSS background” for the post.

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  1. C
    Chander Pal
    Apr 22, 2017 at 6:40 am
    How about the deputy cm of Bihar as the candidate, secularly qualified up to cl nine, appreciates infra structure as fodder, confidence in dynasty, if can give high decibel anti Hindu speaches will get support from TMC. Neither understands nor is bothered about those confusing phrases like job creation, industrial development etc.
    1. Y
      Apr 21, 2017 at 1:28 pm
      Nitih, Chautala, Lalu, Sonia candidate must be defeated. Corruption sponsored candidate must be defeated.
      1. P
        Pawar RS
        Apr 21, 2017 at 1:16 pm
        Nitoo just propose Laloo's name your father !!
        1. P
          Pradeep Phadke
          Apr 21, 2017 at 12:54 pm
          This so called secular alliance will put up a non-en y, Communist for election of President. Only fools can vote such candidate. But then the opposition is full of fools only! Win of NDA candidate is certain!
          1. S
            Apr 21, 2017 at 12:19 pm
            We want a secular minded intellectual to become PRESEDENT not the likes of RSS Bagawath
            1. K
              Apr 21, 2017 at 12:07 pm
              Only one regional external party's support is required to elect the President of NDA choice, they will manage it.
              1. P
                PARKASH CHANDRA
                Apr 21, 2017 at 12:02 pm
                Does this speak respect to a democrat? Have disrespected me? Without Prejudice
                1. P
                  PARKASH CHANDRA
                  Apr 21, 2017 at 11:59 am
                  QUOTE: "President election: Nitish Kumar meets Sonia hi, wants united Opposition candidate" India wants Scholar/Scientist President like Hon'ble Mr S. Radhakrishnan and Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam. Please No Politician. Hon'ble Mr Nitish Kumar may first set things right to aspirations of Bihar's people since he is Chief Minister from a quite longer period.His recent electioneering for Muni l Corporation Delhi are con uous in our mind. He may kindly concentrate on Bihar? Regards. Without Prejudice.
                  1. S
                    suresh iyer
                    Apr 21, 2017 at 10:27 am
                    sonia y is a criminal she cannot lead
                    1. T
                      Apr 21, 2017 at 9:41 am
                      Modi and his half chaddi gang , are destroying India . They are making India more and more communal . This way India is going to split into pieces soon . Hindus think they are progressing , but the image of India is getting ed up .
                      1. S
                        Apr 21, 2017 at 10:25 am
                        Dnt burn your mullah...Hindu Rastra is a reality..mind it..
                        1. D
                          Damodar Biswal
                          Apr 21, 2017 at 12:48 pm
                          What is the basis of ur comment,sir?One may not agree with the decisive policies of BJP but must appreciate the good work done by the PM.
                          1. R
                            RAMESH MAHALINGAM
                            Apr 21, 2017 at 2:19 pm
                            the more you people write against MODI and the more he wins the elections. just for the sake of criticizing, do not indulge in it. HE IS DOING A GOOD JOB AS A PRIME MINISTER WHICH NO ONE COULD EVER CONTEMPLATE EARLIER. IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY, YOU BECOME A RPIME MINISTERIAL CANDIDATE IN THE FUTURE AND TRY TO WIN THE ELCTIONS. MY BEST WISHES FOR YOU.
                          2. T
                            Apr 21, 2017 at 9:23 am
                            want to destroy the candidature float his name immediately sniper firings will start so let us say Najeeb Jung and our Akela Arvind will accuse him of every crime other than molestation
                            1. I
                              India First
                              Apr 21, 2017 at 9:21 am
                              Fixing Agenda??? You guys have been fixing agenda till now... Award Vapsi....EVM... tolerance... Nitish now people are giving answers to these agendas... wake up...
                              1. B
                                bhavesh nagda
                                Apr 21, 2017 at 9:17 am
                                Lal Batti ? Still
                                1. A
                                  Amit Sinha
                                  Apr 21, 2017 at 8:54 am
                                  Nitish Kumar is still dreaming that they would cobble a coalition for 2019 election and after defeating Modi Ji he would be sworn in as Prime Minister of India. First of all he has to understand that in his second inning due to coalition with Lalu Gang Bihar is again in deep . Despite ghotalas by Lalu Gang he is shutting eyes to all this to keep his goverment in power. This is going to cost him dearly. Dreaming of becoming prime minister is not bad but he should do a reality check as to why he can prove himself better than Modi Ji when Bihar is buring.
                                  1. B
                                    BASTIMAL SURANA
                                    Apr 21, 2017 at 8:38 am
                                    1. D
                                      Dr. Subodh Agarwal
                                      Apr 21, 2017 at 7:51 am
                                      The name of the present Hon'ble Chief Justice of India should be unanimously considered for the post of the President of India. He is every inch a secular. This time we must escape from committing the historical mistake that we once made by not letting Shri N. Subbarao, the former CJI to occupy the Rashtapati Bhawan. It all depends on Hon'ble Prime Minister's 'Mann ki Dair'. Good luck to our Great Nation.
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