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Presidential Candidate Must be Secular to be Acceptable to All: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday stressed that the Presidential candidate must be acceptable to all and he/she should be a secular person.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:May 26, 2017, 4:49 PM IST
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Presidential Candidate Must be Secular to be Acceptable to All: Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (PTI photo)
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday stressed that the Presidential candidate must be acceptable to all and he/she should be a secular person.

Soon after the meeting with the Opposition leaders in the national capital, she said, “No names were discussed on Presidential candidate. Hopefully, we will be able to announce it soon.”

Sources said, it was decided to form a 17-member committee (representative from all opposition parties) who will shortlist the ideal candidate for the Presidential post.


With Mamata stressing on ‘secular’ candidate - it is not yet clear whether she will oppose or support if BJP announce their ‘secular’ face for the post. Yesterday, she met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and there are speculations that both the leaders might have discuss Presidential candidates.

Though, Mamata categorically rubbished media reports but party insiders claimed that there was some talks between them.

“Today’s meeting was good and apart from discussion in Presidential candidate, we have also discussed on how people suffered due to demonitisation. We have also discussed unrest in Kashmir and communal tension in Saharanpur,” Mamata said while adding that everyone in the meeting criticized Central government’s anti-people policies.

Apart from Meira Kumar and ex-Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, the other names reportedly proposed by the opposition parties as their joint candidates are: NCP chief Sharad Pawar and JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav.

On the other side, BJP may field Jharkhand governor Draupadi Murmu for the post. Senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi’s names had also been discussed. But BJP most likely will not take any chance after Supreme Court’s order against them in Babri Masjid case.

The total strength of electoral college for the presidential polls is 11, 04,546 votes and BJP-led NDA’s currently standing is nearly 5.38 lakh votes.

President Pranab Mukherjee is all set to retire in July.
| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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