Union Minister Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu are set to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi and CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury in New Delhi to discuss a possible consensus candidate for the presidential elections. Both, Singh and Naidu, had earlier in the week, held a meeting with Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Praful Patel and Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) Satish Mishra.
“We exchanged views today, and will be talking to different parties regarding the same. On June 17, the Finance Minister will come back. We will exchange information with him and move forward,” Venkaiah Naidu had said.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, “We are a secular party. We will never support Mohan Bhagwat; neither will the other parties. His name is being recommended by the Shiv Sena. We don’t know what their connection is with the BJP. However, we will choose a candidate from a secular party.”
“The minutes of the meeting will be discussed with the rest of our party and the sub-committee that has been set up ahead of the polls. We will consider the opinion of all,” he said.
Sonia Gandhi had held meeting with opposition parties in recent weeks, including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Sitaram Yechury in a bid to challenge the presidential candidate named by NDA government.