Ghulam Nabi Azad, the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, on Thursday said whichever name the government suggests for President has to be “acceptable” to the entire Opposition. Azad’s comment came ahead of the meeting between the government and main opposition Congress on the issue of the presidential election.
Azad said he did not know whether the government will share any names at all in the first meeting itself. He said the Congress has not suggested any names to other Opposition parties.
“We didn’t discuss any names at all,” Azad said. “Since we do not know which are the names which are under consideration of the government, where is the question of we (Opposition) discussing names and where is the question of us (the Congress) suggesting any names at the moment. We would first like to hear the government and after that, we will have to discuss in the party and with the Opposition parties,” Azad told The Indian Express, when asked whether any names were suggested by the Congress.
“If at all we have to select a candidate from the Opposition that has to be with the concurrence of everybody… not of one political party. There has to be a consensus. That cannot be the choice of one party. The Congress party or for that matter any other political party,” he added.
Sources in the Left said they expected the Opposition parties to discuss names of probable candidates and arrive at a consensus at the meeting on Wednesday. “It was not correct on the part of the Opposition parties not to decide the candidate. The name need not be announced. But it should have been discussed. Unnecessarily they postponed it,” a senior Left leader said.
Azad said he does not know whether the government will suggest any name at Friday’s meeting.