Mamata’s visit to stir opposition plans for presidential poll



New Delhi: As West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is again coming to Delhi on Wednesday evening, the opposition parties are expected to have serious deliberations to decide on a joint candidate for the presidential election this week, said a senior opposition leader.

According to the leader, who did not want to be identified, Banerjee will meet leaders from all major parties to build a consensus on the joint candidate for the presidential election.

There will be a series of meetings of opposition leaders this week.

Among the names doing the rounds as consensus candidates of opposition are of former Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.

Banerjee met Congress President Sonia Gandhi last week and conveyed that her party was in favour of a consensus candidate for the presidential election.

The term of President Pranab Mukherjee ends in July. The ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, which has clear edge in the presidential election, has not given any inkling so far on its choice of candidate.

Gandhi has been contacting leaders opposed to the ruling BJP to evolve a consensus.

She has spoken to Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD chief Lalu Prasad and met JD-U leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah.

The Congress chief is also expected to meet Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati.

DMK leader Kanimozhi also met Gandhi and invited her for her father and DMK chief M. Karunanidhi’s 94th birthday celebrations in Chennai on June 3, when another meeting of opposition leaders is likely to take place.



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