THE Opposition parties on Wednesday decided to field a joint candidate in the Presidential polls next months.
A meeting of Opposition leaders, called by Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was held here on building consensus on zeroing in on a joint Opposition candidate.
As many as 17 Opposition parties attended the crucial meeting to build consensus on fielding a joint candidate against the BJP-led NDA in the presidential election. AAP, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Odisha’s ruling BJD skipped the meeting.
Leaders of Shiv Sena, CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML), National
Conference, PDP, JD(S), RSP, IUML, RLD and the JMM attended the meeting, which took place on a day the nomination for the presidential election began.
In the meeting, a resolution was passed to field a common candidate in the next Presidential poll.
“In the forthcoming Presidential election which is being held on the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence, we have decided to field a common candidate who can truly serve as custodian of the Constitution and stop the Modi Government from doing further damage to Indian democracy and India’s social fabric,” the resolution said.
Banerjee said, all important political parties sent their representatives and several senior leaders attended the meeting.
“One or two parties did not attend the meeting and they must have their reason. All the members in the meeting unanimously named Sharad Pawar. If Pawar is ready, it is ok. If not, then names will come for political parties. It (name) will be discussed and decided. Today is the beginning and I think after so many months we sat together and we will do it again... for the bulldozing going on in the country’s democratic system. Every institution is totally misused politically and it is necessary we must sit together,” she said.
An Opposition leader present in the meeting said that the Trinamool supremo proposed the name of NCP chief Pawar and everyone agreed.
“But Pawar refused and said he will be active in politics till his death.”
Meanwhile, the next meeting of major Opposition parties to deliberate on a consensus candidate for the Presidential election is likely to be held on June 20-21 and will be convened by NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai, senior leaders said Wednesday.