New Delhi, June 19
BJP coordination committee, formed to coordinate with state units and allies, today held discussions on the strategy for the upcoming Presidential elections. This was the first meeting of the committee since the announcement of the Presidential elections for which the ruling BJP is yet to reveal its candidate. Detailed discussions were held at the meeting chaired by party chief JP Nadda.
Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is convener and party general secretaries Vinod Tawde and CT Ravi co-conveners of the 14-member coordination committee formed by the BJP to coordinate with state units and allies. Other members are Union Ministers G Kishan Reddy, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Sarbananda Sonowal, Arjun Ram Meghwal and Bharti Pawar, party general secretary Tarun Chugh, vice president DK Aruna and secretary Rituraj Sinha.
BJP women wing chief Vanathi Srinivas, Lok Sabha MP Rajdeep Roy and spokesperson Sambit Patra are also part of the election management committee.
Nadda and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh have also been given the responsibility to hold talks with opposition parties for a consensus candidate. However, there has been no headway so far on it.
Though Nadda and Singh have spoken to several opposition leaders, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, they are all waiting for the NDA to reveal its candidate for the new President of the country for which several names are doing the rounds amid speculations of a second term for incumbent Ram Nath Kovind.
While opposition parties like the BJD and YSR-Congress are expected to vote for the BJP candidate, protests against the Centre's Agnipath recruitment scheme for the armed forces has triggered a fresh war of words between ruling allies BJP and JD(U) in Bihar ahead of the elections. Saffron leaders are holding the Nitish Kumar government responsible for its “inability to stop attacks” on the residences of BJP leaders. JD (U), on the other hand, is blaming the BJP-led Central government, asking it to listen to the concerns of young people.
Opposition parties have decided to field a common candidate for the Presidential elections. However, so far no name has emerged from their side as well with NCP chief Sharad Pawar and NC leader Farooq Abdullah both declining the offer. Opposition parties are also expected to hold their second meeting on June 21.
While Mamata Banerjee is unlikely to participate in the meeting convened by Pawar, a senior TMC leader is expected to be present, sources said.
The Presidential elections will be held on July 18 and the counting of votes will take place on July 21.
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