Presidential election: Opposition parties to meet on June 14
NEW DELHI: Opposition parties will meet on June 14 to formally begin discussions on the presidential and vice presidential elections, sources said on Monday.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi has initiated moves to bring the opposition parties on a common platform for the elections scheduled in July.
Gandhi, earlier this month, constituted a ten member sub-group of representatives from opposition parties to take forward the deliberations and discussions on the elections.
"Members of the sub-group of the opposition parties will meet on June 14 to formally begin their discussion on presidential and vice-presidential elections," a senior opposition leader said.
The sub-group consists of Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge, JD-U leader Shard Yadav, RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, TMC leader Derek O'Brien, Samajwadi Party's Ram Gopal Yadav, BSP's Satish Chandra Mishra, DMK leader R.S. Bharathi and NCP's Praful Patel.
The Election Commission last week announced that the election of the next President will be held on July 17 and counting of votes will take place on July 20.
The term of the country's 13th President Pranab Mukherjee will end on July 24. The term of Vice President Hamid Ansari will end in August.
The Election Commission said the filing of nominations will begin on June 14 and the last date for the purpose will be June 28. Scrutiny will take place on June 29 and the last date for withdrawal is July 1.
Several opposition parties have held parleys to find a consensus candidate but have decided to wait for the ruling alliance to reach out to them with the name of its candidate.
The parties have said that if a consensual candidate does not emerge, they will field a candidate "who will steadfastly defend the constitutional values".