New Delhi: Yashwant Sinha, a former Indian Administration Service (IAS) officer and minister in Atal Bihari Vajpai government, has been chosen as opposition candidate for the Presidential election scheduled for July next month.
With the opposition making its choice clear, BJP by the end of the day, named the 64-year-old Murmu tribal leader from Odisha as its candidate for the presidential election. Murmu has served as Jharkhand’s governor in the recent past.
Meanwhile, at least thirteen opposition parties include Congress, TMC, NCP, DMK, Samajwadi Party, RJD, CPM, CPIML, CPI, AIUDF and AIMIM chose Yashwant Sinha.
Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge and Jairam Ramesh, TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury, CPIML’s Dipankar Bhattacharya and CPI’s D Raja were among those who participated in the meeting to declare the name of Sinha.
But five parties—TRS, BJD, AAP, SAD and YSRCP stayed away.
However, Sharad Pawar, the NCP chief has reportedly said that he has talked to some other opposition leaders like Arvind Kejriwal and Tejashwi Yadav. Pawar also mentioned that he will talk to few others to further strengthen the candidature of the opposition nominee.
A resident of Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, the 84-year-old leader was with TMC and resigned today. He also tweeted about it and had mentioned that for a larger national cause he is stepping aside from the party.
Sinha’s name came up after Pawar, Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Farooq Abdullah opted out as the candidate in the Presidential election.
“In the forthcoming Presidential elections, we have decided to elect a common candidate and stop the Modi government from doing further damage. At a subsequent meeting held today we have chosen Yashwant Sinha as a common candidate. We appeal to all political parties to vote for Yashwant Sinha,” said Jairam Ramesh, Congress’ communication chief, reading from a joint statement by the opposition.
The joint statement appealed to the BJP and its allies to support the candidature of Sinha so that the nation can have a “worthy Rashtrapati elected unopposed”.
A committee has been formed to steer Sinha’s campaign.
But by the evening, NDA have named Murmu as its candidate.
Sinha will file his nomination papers tomorrow.