Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
World News | By Carolyn Briggs

Modi's Party Backs Low-Caste Leader for President of India

BJP National President Amit Shah accompanied by Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and State BJP chief Raosaheb Danve meets Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya Thackeray at Matoshree in Mumbai on Sunday.

According to reports, the BJP committee is holding discussions with all parties as they are trying to finalise a consensus candidate for presidential poll before Prime Minister Modi departs for foreign tour on June 24.

Congress, after the meeting of its party president Sonia Gandhi and BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu, said that the ruling party did not place any name of its nominee, forcing Congress to rule out any cooperation on a consensus.

All senior ministers of the party, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, will attend Monday's meeting, IANS reported.

The saffron party has maintained a odd secrecy over the choice of its candidate, baffling not just the Opposition but also some allies.

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Communist Party of India leader D. Raja said the BJP's announcement was "non-transparent".

Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu have held consultation with allies and the opposition camp. However, the Opposition, including ally Shiv Sena, have claimed that the saffron party has not yet come up with a name. The elected representatives - all whom will vote in the election - will sign the papers nominating the NDA candidate. "But the line for the name is left blank".

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

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.

The BJP is expected to win the Presidential election comfortably. While speaking at "opinion-makers meet" with a select group of city residents from various sectors yesterday, he said his party supported free trade and free agriculture when BJP's predecessor Jana Sangh was formed and even today also his party stands for the same principle.

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