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Advani and Joshi Leave it to BJP to Take Call on Presidential Candidate

Sumit Pande | CNN-News18

Updated: June 17, 2017, 8:16 PM IST
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Advani and Joshi Leave it to BJP to Take Call on Presidential Candidate
File image of MM Joshi and LK Advani.
New Delhi: The two senior-most leaders in the Margadarshak Mandal of the BJP have left it to the party to take a call and finalise candidate for the Presidential Elections.

Both, L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, did not propose any names for the top constitutional post for which elections are due next month. Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Venkaih Naidu had met both, Mr Advani and Dr Joshi, separately on Friday afternoon and sought their views before finalising NDA's nominee for President's posts.

"It was merely a courtesy call over a cup of tea. No names were discussed or proposed," said a BJP leader, who is a part of the consultation process.

The two senior-most BJP leaders, Joshi and Advani, coming from the RSS stock, were seen as the contenders for the President's post. The Supreme Court-ordered charge sheet last month against the two in the Babri Masjid demolition case was, however, seen as a stumbling block in their way to get party nomination or even larger support outside BJP.

A senior party leader, aware of developments on talks within and outside NDA, says the three-member panel appointed by the BJP is currently in the process of gauging if the Opposition is "determined to go for a contest or it is open to the idea of a consensus candidate".

There is a view in the BJP and the RSS that in the current situation the party can afford to have a candidate with a firm ideological imprint. Unlike in 2002, when the party was not sure of numbers and had to nominate Dr Kalam as it's nominee.
The top party leaders - the parliamentary board in all likelihood - is expected to meet anytime next week to take a final call on the candidate.

The Opposition parties will then be communicated to of NDA's decision with ruling dispensation seeking support for its candidate.

"This may happen anytime after the International Yoga day for which Prime Minister is travelling to Lucknow on May 21," says a BJP leader.

The NDA candidate is likely to file nominations next Friday, a day before Prime Minister leaves for the United States.
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