New Delhi: The BJP is gearing up to rally support for its candidate in the August presidential election. Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee is trying to field Sarath Pawar as the common candidate of the opposition.
The votes of both houses of parliament are crucial to elect a new president. The votes of the MLAs of the States and Union Territories also determine victory or defeat.
The BJP alliance has enough strength in terms of parliament. However, the BJP fears that their candidate may be defeated by the MLAs of the ruling states by the Opposition and other parties. Thus the BJP is not prepared to miss any chance of victory in the forthcoming presidential election and the vice-presidential election.
To this end, the BJP has embarked on the task of mobilizing the support of not only its allies but also other parties and the opposition. To this end, the BJP has sent envoys across the country to its key leaders.
First, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan last week met Nitish Kumar, the leader of the BJP-backed ruling United Janata Dal in Bihar. Because Nitish Kumar has already taken a stand against his alliance.
He backed Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate Pranab Mukherjee, leaving the BJP frontrunner in the 2012 presidential election.
Despite switching to Lalu Prasad Yadav’s mega alliance in 2017, Nitish backed NDA candidate Ramnath Govind, with the exception of UPA candidate Meera Kumar.
For similar reasons, Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met directly with Nitish Kumar on behalf of the BJP leadership. The talks, which lasted about 2 hours, discussed various issues, including the presidential election.
The BJP has also appointed ambassadors to talk to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy and Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal leader Naveen Patnaik.
Of the two, Chief Minister Jagan, who backed the NDA candidate in the 2017 presidential election, is expected to support the NDA again.
Chief Minister Naveen, who wants to stay away from both the Congress and the BJP, has said he will announce his support depending on the candidate. He had last backed Ramnath for the presidency and Gopalakrishna Gandhi for the UPA’s vice presidency.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is trying to field Nationalist Congress Party leader Sarabjit Pawar as the opposition’s common candidate in the presidential election. His announcement was backed by Aam Aadmi Party co-ordinator and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The decision of the Congress on this issue will be known only after its think tank meeting which started yesterday. Some parties, including the DMK, have not yet made their positions known.