The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called its MPs and MLAs to Delhi for signing nomination papers for the presidential election, the process of which began on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the party’s Parliamentary Board meeting where a list of probable names were discussed. Party chief Amit Shah and several union ministers were among those in attendance.
The three-member party committee, which includes Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley, briefed the board members about the consultations undertaken by them with allies and opposition parties.
The party prepared four sets of nomination papers, leaving the space for the name of the candidate blank. Nomination form of the candidate is to be signed by at least 50 electors as proposers and 50 as seconders for each set.
Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar demanded the BJP to name their candidate soon. “They haven’t decided on a name yet. Even when Arun Jaitley ji rang me, he didn’t have a name for presidential candidate. We can wait for two or three days but we cannot wait forever. It is important that we need to decide on a name,” Nitish said.
The BJP leaders last week said the NDA is “absolutely confident” of the win of its candidates in both the presidential and vice-presidential elections. If the ruling BJP-led NDA and the opposition fail to reach an agreement with regards to a common candidate, polling will be held for the election of the next President on July 17.
The filing of nomination papers to elect the 15th President of India had begun on June 14 and the process will end on June 28. Pranab Mukherjee’s term as President will end on July 24.