The Election Commission on Wednesday issued a notification for filing the nominations for the July 17 presidential poll that began today, reported PTI. The nomination process will continue till June 28. The NDA and group of opposition parties have intensified efforts to narrow down on a “mutually acceptable” presidential candidate. But without a consensus, they would go their separate ways.
BJP President Amit Shah on Monday, after a prolonged silence on the issue, had set up a three-member panel comprising Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, and M Venkaiah Naidu which will hold frequent consultations with the NDA allies and the opposition on the issue.
Meanwhile, leaders of opposition parties will hold their meeting at around 4 pm to finalise a consensus candidate and flesh out a joint strategy on the issue. This will be the first time that the 10-member sub-group of the opposition will be meeting after its formation recently.
PTI quoted sources as saying that the opposition leaders will try to come out with some possible names for the post of President, but will hold it out till the government initiative in this regard. Laws were amended a few years back in an effort to ensure non-serious candidates don’t file nomination for the prestigious election.
The law, as it stands now, states that a candidate who is supported by 50 ‘electors’ and seconded by another 50 can file nomination. Elected members of the lower house (Lok Sabha) and the upper house (Rajya Sabha) and elected members of state legislative assemblies are the electors. If the elections are held in case both the NDA and the opposition field their candidates, then the results will be announced on July 20.
The term of present incumbent Pranab Mukherjee comes to an end on July 24.