November 18, 2017

Sonia seeks conscience vote in presidential poll, calls Modi government 'narrow-minded'

17 July 2017, 04:23 | Winifred Adams

Meira Kumar, Gopalkrishna Gandhi to hold interactive session with non-NDA MPs

Meira Kumar to address Opposition MPs

Opposition vice-presidential candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi will also be present.

She said Opposition stands united, which is noteworthy. "We must have confidence in the values we believe in". She said the election represents a clash of ideas and conflict of disparate values. "The election demands a vote of conscience to preserve the India that the Mahatma and that illustrious generation of freedom fighters, joined by thousands upon thousands of ordinary men and women, fought for".

The former WB governor has been nominated by the Opposition comprising of eighteen parties for the vice-presidential poll. In three years, for the first time the Opposition has come together as a united force which is noteworthy. Naidu's name has propped up as he is a veteran BJPian, argualy party's most successful from southern Indian in central leadership, and an upper caste face.

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The choosing of the VP candidate for the BJP - and by extension the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that the saffron party leads - is expected to take place on the evening of Monday, July 17, after the election to choose the 14th President of India concludes.

That way, one can speculate that Modi just might lean towards a Patel to mollify a voter-base from his home state that is now threatening to upset the equations at the upcoming Assembly elections.

Sources said Gopalkrishna Gandhi, whose candidature was endorsed by 18 non-NDA parties, including the JD-U, will also be accompanied by top opposition leaders, including those from the Left parties and TMC. According to party sources, the most important criterion for the vice presidential post is to be able to run the Rajya Sabha as chairman of the upper house where the government benches are still short of a majority. Still, considering various reports and speculations, here are top 5 names who could be BJP's pick for the election.

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