Presidential candidate: Next meeting of the opposition on June 21

Sources said the next round of discussions involving opposition leaders would be held on June 21 at the Parliament Annexe. Last week, leaders of 17 opposition parties clashed with each other where it was unanimously decided to field candidates.

Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee, who called the meeting on June 15 The next round of discussions is likely to be ruled out due to prior engagements. Mamata had requested Pawar to take the lead in holding the second meeting.

While leaders who attended the meeting last week were unanimous on fielding Pawar, the veteran leader turned down the offer, saying, “I am happy to continue my service for the good of the common man.”

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In the meeting, Banerjee had put forward the names of Abdullah and Gandhi as alternate candidates. But on Saturday, Abdullah also turned down the offer, leaving only Gandhi in contention.

In 2017 too, the opposition camp wanted to field Gandhi as its presidential candidate, but the NDA’s decision to choose Ram Nath Kovind as its face forced a reconsideration. Eventually, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, who was also a Dalit like Kovind, was fielded by the opposition.