BJP team to meet Sonia on Presidential election on Friday

The committee will also work to ensure that they gather enough support from regional parties to put the BJP-led NDA in the winning position in case Opposition parties put up a joint candidate and force a contest.

The BJP has given no indication so far on who its candidate is but there is speculation around the names of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

The election will be a prestige issue for both the BJP and the Opposition parties, and the Congress among the latter in particular. The BJP can pay it back by getting RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat elected President. However, with Manohar Parrikar having left the Defence Ministry to go be Goa chief minister, Prime Minister Narendra Modi might not want to lose another seasoned Cabinet colleague.

Among the names of key political players, one that has been making waves on the social media is that of Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu.

The 10-member group set up by the Opposition that will meet for the first time after its constitution, these sources said, will also discuss the farmers' agitations that have broken out in different parts of the country. Will they (BJP) speak to us regarding this? If a mutually acceptable candidate is not announced by then, polls would be called for the presidential election with the nominees of the NDA and the Opposition standing against each other on July 17.

When is the Presidential election?

"Today as the preliminary meeting as decided by all of us". No nitty gritty nor names were discussed.

The Sena has not voted with the BJP in the last two presidential elections. "All parties are totally united", he said.

As PTI sources as saying that the opposition party will try to come out with Happening names for the post of President, but will hold it out till the government initiative in this regard. The Opposition leaders are likely to meet once again around June 20.

Among those who attended the meeting in Azad's chamber were Yechury, Sharad Yadav, (JD-U), Patel, Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), Mishra, Mallikarjun Kharge (Congress), Derek O'Brien (Trinamool Congress), and R.S. Bharti (DMK).

  • Joanne Flowers