Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel on Tuesday met JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav ahead of a likely Opposition meeting chaired by the Congress chief on finding a common Opposition nominee for President.
Yadav also had a meeting with CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, who rued the absence of any consultation of the government with Opposition parties on the issue. Sources said that while some Opposition leaders felt an all-party meeting chaired by Sonia on May 26 could accelerate the process of finalising a common nominee, some others preferred a one-to-one meeting to arrive at a decision. Clarity is likely to emerge on Wednesday.
There is a view in the Opposition that if the BJP puts up a candidate with a “balanced view”, a consensus could be built for the post like it was done many times in the past.
“Normally the Prime Minister of the day calls the leaders of Opposition parties and tries to build a consensus, telling the Opposition about their thinking and seeking their opinion. Atal Bihari Vajpayee did that on APJ Abdul Kalam, Manmohan Singh did that for Pratibha Patil and for Pranab Mukherjee… This government has not done that,” Yechury said.