BJP Parliamentary Board to meet to finalise presidential nominee

Presidential polls: Candidate's name to be announced before June 23: Venkaiah Naidu

The development comes a day after BJP party president Amit Shah met Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai on Sunday. SP members are understood to have expressed preference for a politician as President.

Having been tight-lipped so far, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentary board will meet on Monday to finalize their presidential candidate to succeed President Pranab Mukherjee.

Shah, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's closest adviser and top campaign strategist, played up the humble origins of Kovind, 71, who has served two terms in the upper house of parliament and is a practicing lawyer.

According to IANS, the board members will be briefed about the consultation of the three-member party committee formed to evolve consensus with the Opposition on the subject.

Multiple sources have told HT that former diplomat Gopalkrishna Gandhi could be the potential opposition candidate, with Left parties pushing for Mahatma Gandhi's grandson for the country's highest post. A party leader said the meeting may authorise Shah to take a call, so it is not clear whether the board will announce its candidate today.

This three-member committee, which was constituted by Shah last week, comprises of senior BJP leaders and Union ministers Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley.

BJP President said Jana Sangh, on the other hand, always believed in nation first, party second and the person last.

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A total of four nomination papers to be submitted, each needs 50 nominators and 50 seconders.

An election to choose the next President of India appears inevitable as the initial round of talks between the BJP and the opposition is about to end.

The BJP is expected to win the Presidential election comfortably.

Naidu, after the meeting, told the media that the name of the Presidential candidate would be announced before June 23.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) issued the notification in this regard and the process of the nomination has started that will continue till June 28.

Kovind's nomination to the largely ceremonial post of president would be expected to garner enough votes from the BJP and its allies in an electoral college that brings together federal and state lawmakers.

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