Updated: July 2, 2022 12:05:32 am
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that Droupadi Murmu, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee for the Presidential polls, could have been a consensus candidate had the BJP consulted her nomination with the Opposition parties.
“The BJP had asked for our suggestion (on Presidential candidate) but they did not tell us about their nominee. Had we known they were planning to field a tribal woman or a member of a minority community, we could have thought about it [consensus]. We have great respect for people from the tribal communities and for women. It (consensus) happened during the candidature of APJ Abdul Kalam,” said Banerjee.
“Droupadi Murmu has better chances (to win presidential polls) because of the Maharashtra development. If the BJP had asked for our suggestion before announcing the name of Murmu, we too could have considered it.”
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The CM stressed that a consensus candidate is always better for the country, adding that she will go by the decision of the Opposition parties.
“We have 16-17 parties in our alliance. I cannot back out unilaterally. There are others too. We will go by what has already been decided. Yashwant Sinha ji has already filed his nomination papers. We want to see a healthy election,” said Banerjee.
Yashwant Sinha, who resigned from Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC), is the candidate of the Opposition parties for the polls scheduled on July 18. Murmu, a tribal leader of the saffron party from Odisha and former Jharkhand Governor, is the NDA’s nominee.
BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh said, “Banerjee is saying all this because she knows that the defeat of the Opposition candidate is inevitable. She has been looking for publicity through this election. The BJP announced Murmu’s name after the Opposition fielded Sinha. She was even absent when Sinha filed his nomination. She got the publicity and now she is abandoning Sinha to his fate.”
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