The Congress party will not propose any names for vice presidential elections at the joint meeting of the opposition parties tomorrow, ThePrint has learnt. The Congress has instead asked leaders of all opposition parties to propose candidates they consider fit for the office.
The decision was taken by the Congress since it felt that the party had already taken the lead in the presidential polls by proposing the name of Meira Kumar. With the numbers for the vice presidential polls entirely in favour of the NDA, the Congress party feels that it is better to step back, and allow other opposition parties to propose their own candidates.
Senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad have been coordinating with 18 opposition parties to develop a joint strategy on the vice presidential polls. Both have communicated to them over the last two days that the Congress will desist from naming and proposing any candidate for the vice president’s office and leave it to them to come up with names.
However, it is also learnt that there is little consensus building within the opposition ranks to shortlist or decide on any nominations a day ahead of the meeting, even though the parties feel that some name must be announced in order to project a united front.
The Left parties are considering to once again propose the names of Prakash Ambedkar or Gopal Krishna Gandhi for the VP’s office, it has been learnt.
While the friction with the Janata Dal (United) has threatened to break opposition unity, well placed sources told ThePrint that both Sharad Yadav and K.C. Tyagi had indicated that they would attend the 11 July meeting, even though Nitish Kumar has chosen to skip it. Yadav’s office confirmed that he would be attending the 11 am meeting.
While 17 opposition parties had got together to decide on Meira Kumar’s nomination for presidential polls, JD(U)’s attendance could take the number to 18 for vice presidential polls.
The vice presidential nomination apart, other current issues may also be taken up for discussion at the meeting tomorrow with the Monsoon session of Parliament around the corner. There are already discussions around the issue of the farmer crisis, the spate of mob lynching cases, the situation in West Bengal, the tension with China and Pakistan, and the friction between the governor’s office and the government in Puducherry.