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BJP steps up campaign for its Presidential nominee, to file nomination before June 24

Monday, 19 June 2017 13:47
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New Delhi, June 18: The BJP on Sunday stepped up its efforts to gather support for its unnamed Presidential nominee, with its top leaders talking to allies Shiv Sena and LJP as well as the Trinamool Congress and BJD, even as it disclosed that the NDA candidate will file the nomination before June 24 after the opposition is conveyed its choice.

Bharatiya Janata Party and allied MPs are being called to New Delhi by Tuesday to sign the nomination papers. Each nomination paper has to be signed by at 50 proposers and an equal number of seconders who can also be MLAs.

The National Democratic Alliance's attempt is to file at least three-four sets of nominations of its candidate so that all allies can get to sign. BJP sources said the nomination will be filed before Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves on his three-nation foreign tour. Modi is slated to visit Portugal on June 24, before his trip to the US on June 26 and the Netherlands on June 27.

By then, the opposition parties will be told about the NDA candidate. The last date for filing of nominations is June 28. The Prime Minister is set to return home a day before that.

BJP President Amit Shah on Sunday met its sulking ally and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya in Mumbai to ensure the Sena's crucial support in the July 17 Presidential election. 

But the BJP's oldest ally has been pitching for the candidature of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat as the "first choice" and eminent agro-scientist M.S. Swaminathan as a second preference. Both Bhagwat and BJP have already ruled out the possibility of fielding him.

It was not clear what was Sena's response to Shah's plea. In the last two Presidential elections, the Shiv Sena did not support the NDA candidate.

Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday held discussions with Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who heads the Lok Janshakti Party. Naidu also met Samajwadi Party's Ram Gopal Yadav and Naresh Agrawal.


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