Congress wants Sharad Pawar as joint opposition candidate for President
New Delhi, June 13, 2022
The Congress is pushing for a joint opposition candidate for the coming presidential elections. The party has conveyed its support to Sharad Pawar to its allies whereever the party is in the government.
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge met Sharad Pawar last Thursday, with a message from party chief Sonia Gandhi. The two leaders met in Mumbai.
The Congress is in full support if Sharad Pawar throws his hat in the ring while West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress Mamata Banerjee has called a meeting of the opposition parties on June 15. On the same day, Pawar will be meeting leaders of like- minded parties. However, Pawar has not responded to the suggestions till now.
Pawar, a stalwart in the opposition ranks, can upset the equations of the ruling party which is hoping to get support of other smaller parties.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi reached out to the NCP chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and other opposition leaders over the Presidential election.
She talked to various opposition leaders on Saturday.
"Congress President Sonia Gandhi had reached out and deliberated the issue of the upcoming Presidential election with Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee and some other opposition leaders," said a statement from the Congress.
"As per her discussions with other opposition leaders, she deputed the LoP Mallikarjun Kharge to co-ordinate with other leaders in view of her ill health owing to Covid-19," the statement added.
The statement said that the Congress is of the opinion that the country needs a President who can protect the Constitution, democratic institutions and citizens from the ongoing onslaught by the ruling BJP.
While the party has not suggested a particular name for the presidential polls, it said it owes it to people to elect a President who can apply a "healing touch" to India's "fractured social fabric".
"The time is ripe to rise above our differences for the sake of our nation and its people. Discussions and deliberations have to be open-minded and in keeping with this spirit. We believe that the Indian National Congress along with other parties should be taking this discussion forward," said the party in the statement.
The BJP on the other hand has authorized its party chief J. P. Nadda and Union Minister Rajnath Singh to hold discussions with different political parties and bring them towards a consensus.