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  India   All India  26 Apr 2017  Left favours Pranab Mukherjee’s second term

Left favours Pranab Mukherjee’s second term

Published : Apr 26, 2017, 2:13 am IST
Updated : Apr 26, 2017, 2:13 am IST

CPM conveys its views to Cong as talks for joint Opp. nominee for Prez poll on.

President Pranab Mukherjee (Photo: PTI)
 President Pranab Mukherjee (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: As the Opposition continues to look for a presidential candidate to counter the Modi-Shah juggernaut, the Left parties are reportedly in favour of President Pranab Mukherjee getting a second a term. Sources said that the CPI(M) top brass have conveyed their views to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Mr Mukherjee has, however, indicated that he was not willing to throw his hat in the ring unless there was a consensus on his name, sources added.

The presidential polls have brought Mrs Gandhi back to the centrestage of political activities, with the Congress president holding discussions with “like-minded” and “secular” parties to field a common presidential candidate.

Mrs Gandhi has already held discussions with JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar and Left leaders, including CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI leader D. Raja.

As of now both the NDA and the Opposition conglomerate seem to be evenly poised as far as the contest to Raisina Hills is concerned.

The AIADMK, Biju Janata Dal, Telengana Rashtra Samiti, YSR Congress Party, AAP and INLD hold the key. The Shiv Sena is also a deciding factor as in the last two presidential polls it has voted in favour of a Congress candidate and this time also might jump to other side as they are quiet miffed with their alliance partner BJP.

While AIADMK is in the throes of a merger talk, the Biju Janata Dal has already shown its intentions of joining the Opposition after meetings with Mr Nitish Kumar and Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee. Mr Kumar has also held talks with INLD.

Sources said that Left leaders have reportedly conveyed to the Congress president that they were ready to support Mr Mukherjee for a second term. Officially though, the CPI-M has said that the party should try and support a common candidate preferably not belonging to any political party.

The report on political developments adopted by the CPI(M) at the central committee meeting earlier this month said: “The forthcoming elections to the post of President of India should be utilised by us to try and find a common candidate preferably belonging to no political party around whom the opposition parties can rally around.”

“The office of the President assumes greater importance in the current context. With the RSS’s declared objective of converting the secular democratic character of the Indian republic into their ideological project of establishing a Hindu Rashtra, the role of the President as the custodian of the Indian Constitution becomes even more important. We should make all efforts to try and forge unity of all secular parties in this effort to ensure a non-RSS President of the Indian Republic,” it said.

The report goes on to say that “currently, in the electoral college that elects the President of India, the BJP with its NDA allies is marginally short of around two per cent of the votes.”

Tags: pranab mukherjee, sonia gandhi, nitish kumar, presidential candidate