Congress President Sonia Gandhi announced Meira Kumar as the Presidential candidate for Presidential poll 2017. Meira Kumar expressed her gratitude for the support she recieved from 17 opposition parties and has said that he will fight the elections as their candidate.
A crucial meeting of opposition parties to decide on a joint strategy for the presidential election was conducted on Thursday in Delhi which was attended by leaders of 17 parties.
UPDATES: Opposition parties meeting regarding Presidential elections
# Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has said that the opposition has disappointed the nation. Although they are aware of the upcoming result of the Presidential poll, they have decided to contest the elections.
# Meira Kumar said that this unity represented the coming together of several forces with diverse ideological bases. She also said that she would contest the Presidential elections as the UPA representative.
This unity represents coming together of forces wch hv strong ideological base.Going to contest election as their representative-Meira Kumar pic.twitter.com/ofemvNg6sO— ANI (@ANI_news) June 22, 2017
# Meira Kumar expressed her gratitude to 17 opposition parties for selecting her as Presidential candidate. She further said that she was delighted by the opposition's unity
# I will meet Nitish Kumar tomorrow and ask him to reconsider over his support to NDA's Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. I will tell him that he should not commit a historical mistake: Lalu Prasad
# BSP Chief Mayawati gave her consent for the name which came in the opposition meet: Satish Mishra, BSP
# Nitish called me, said that it is his personal decision. I would appeal to him to rethink. Won't break alliance: Lalu Prasad Yadav on Presidential election
# We appeal to all other opposition parties to support us: Congress President Sonia Gandhi
# All 17 political parties have unanimously proposed name of Meira Kumar for forthcoming Presidential Election: GN Azad in opposition meet
# Meira Kumar of Congress to be Opposition's Presidential candidate, said Congress President Sonia Gandhi
# A meeting of top notch opposition leaders is underway in Parliament House Library, Delhi
Prominent names in the meeting held in the Parliament House Library were Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ahmed Patel, besides NCP’s Sharad Pawar and RJD’s Lalu Prasad. Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja, DMK’s Kanimozhi and National Conference’s Omar Abdullah also attended the meeting.
Though Trinamool Congress’ Mamata Banerjee, BSP’s Mayawati and SP’s Akhilesh Yadav, who were present at the last opposition meeting held on May 26, were missing, their representatives were there.
While Derek O’ Brien was representing the Trinamool, the SP sent Ramgopal Yadav and the BSP Satish Mishra. Other parties in the meeting include JD-S, RSP, JMM, Kerala Congress, IUML and the AIUDF of Assam. JD-U, which has decided to back BJP’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind, has skipped the meeting.
However, RLD chief Ajit Singh also attended the meeting. Most of these leaders were present during the May 26 luncheon meeting hosted by Sonia Gandhi at the same venue.
The Congress has stepped up its efforts to keep the opposition united as its top brass held discussions with the leaders of a host of other parties after the JD-U’s decision.
Cracks had appeared in the opposition camp after the JD-U’s surprise decision on Wednesday, as its chief Nitish Kumar was the one who had initiated the process for a joint opposition strategy on the issue.
Sources said a contest for the country’s top constitutional post is on the cards as the majority in the opposition sees it an “ideological battle” that has to fought. Efforts were on to ensure that the NCP did not stray, as the Sharad Pawar-led party held internal discussions to decide on its strategy for the presidential election.
With PTI inputs