By Rahil Nora Chopra
NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu has so far received the backing of BJP, BJD, YSR Congress, TDP, Janata Dal (Secular), Shiromani Akali Dal, JDU, AIADMK, Lok Jan Shakti Party, Apna Dal (Sonelal), Nishad Party, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Republican Party. Other parties like India (Athawale), NPP, NPF, MNF, NDPP, SKM, AGP, PMK, AINR Congress, Jannayak Janata Party, UDP, IPFT, UPPL have also extended their support to Murmu as the next President. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is set to support the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu after a demand from majority of Sena MPs. As many as 16 Shiv Sena Members of Parliament (MP), who attended a meeting called by Thackeray in Mumbai on July 11, insisted that the party should support NDA candidate Murmu, instead of Opposition’s Yashwant Sinha in the presidential elections scheduled on July 18.
According to sources, 13 of the 18 Lok Sabha MPs of the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra attended the key meeting on the presidential elections in which a majority of them suggested supporting the BJP-led NDA’s pick for the top constitutional post. A shift in Shiv Sena votes will not change the outcome of the Presidential polls since NDA has a numerical edge after the support its candidate has received from Biju Janata Dal and other regional parties. However, Thackeray’s decision to back Murmu would be a setback for the Opposition front that has fielded Yashwant Sinha as its candidate for the top constitutional post. Samajwadi Party is supporting Sinha but Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle and party MLA Shivpal Singh Yadav and alliance partner OP Rajbhar have announced support to Murmu. Rajbhar is the chief of the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, which has six MLAs in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly. JMM has given support to Droupadi Murmu.
TRS SUPREMO KCR WORKING ON A COMMON OPPOSITION CANDIDATE IN VP POLL
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge asserted that Congress will not field a candidate for Vice Presidential elections, rather extend hand for a consensual face chosen by the Opposition. Now Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) is pitching for fielding a joint Opposition candidate for upcoming Vice-Presidential election against BJP-led NDA candidate. TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao is reportedly in touch with leaders of a few non-BJP parties over phone to build a consensus on fielding a joint Opposition candidate for Vice-Presidential election on the lines of Presidential election, according to party sources. The Vice-President is elected by an electoral college consisting of members of both Houses of Parliament. The TRS has a total strength of 16 MPs in Parliament, of whom nine are Lok Sabha members and seven are Rajya Sabha members. Party sources said the leaders of non-BJP parties are expected to meet in Delhi to discuss fielding a joint Opposition candidate and finalise a candidate of non-BJP parties for Vice-Presidential election.
ODISHA CHIEF MINISTER NAVEEN PATNAIK WAS THE FIRST NON-NDA TO SUPPORT MURMU
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is known for outwitting the Opposition. Patnaik’s opportune act has not only cemented Droupadi Murmu’s election as the next President of India but also left many in the Opposition with little choice. Even Mamata Banerjee, a critic who never fails to give her open outspoken opinion on Prime Minister Narendra Modi is forced to walk a tightrope. It is not lost on her that tribal votes will be decisive in the coming state elections. But the Biju Janata Dal supremo completely owned Murmu’s nomination, right from the word go to back his former cabinet colleague. On an overseas tour, he was the first to tweet about her nomination, extending BJD’s support. He conferred her Odisha’s daughter and assured to draw support from all political parties in the State. When Murmu arrived in Odisha last week, the brother-sister camaraderie was quite noticed Patnaik even reached out to the Congress leader Narasingh Mishra and sought his support for Murmu. He even sent out his ministers to meet other Congress leaders. With this move Patnaik gained two objectives He sent the message that the BJD is not with the NDA but with Murmu and created splits within the Congress.
KARNATAKA CONGRESS LEADERS DIVIDED OVER NEXT CM CANDIDATE
Congress workers in Karnataka are divided over who should be the party’s next Chief Minister candidate. The state party president DK Shivkumar may think that about himself in turn but the supporters of the leader of the opposition, P C Siddaramaiah want the former CM to come back to power. The best way, according to them is to celebrate Siddaramaiah’s 75th birthday as Siddaramotsava. While D K Shivakumar on Wednesday refused a demand by a party worker for a ‘Shivakumarotsava’ to be held on the lines of Siddaramotsava, leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah’s 75th birthday event is scheduled next month. Siddaramaiah’s supporters even have planned a public meeting in Davanagere on August 3 to celebrate his 75th birthday. While Shivakumar says he does not want any celebrations in his name and instead wants a Congress celebration, his brother and Bengaluru Rural MP DK Suresh expressed concerns over ‘Siddaramotsava. The neutral Congress camp is anxious that this will only divide the party but also help the BJP.
CONGRESS WILL FOCUS ON PRICE RISE DURING MONSOON SESSION OF PARLIAMENT
Top Congress leaders held a meeting on Thursday to discuss the party’s strategy for the upcoming Monsoon session of Parliament. The meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Strategy Committee group presided by party president Sonia Gandhi lasted for an hour during which the leaders decided on issues to be raised during the upcoming session. “We have decided to give priority to issues of LPG and price rise that affect the common people,” senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge told reporters after the meeting. The party aims for a detailed discussion in Parliament on the Chinese transgressions along the border in eastern Ladakh. The Monsoon session of Parliament will start on July 18 and continue till August 12. The meeting was attended by senior party leaders Kharge, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh, K Suresh, and Manicka Tagore. (IPA Service)