Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha has been selected as the joint opposition candidate for the upcoming presidential polls. The nomination papers will be filed by Sinha on June 27 at 11.30 am.
TMC leader Yashwant Sinha said that it was time to step aside from party politics and work for a larger national interest. The decision came soon after the TMC decided to propose his name as the joint Opposition candidate for the top post.
Sinha in a tweet said, “I am grateful to Mamataji for the honour and prestige she bestowed on me in the TMC. Now a time has come when for a larger national cause, I must step aside from the party to work for greater opposition unity. I am sure she approves of the step.”
Opposition leaders, who gathered at a Parliament annexe meeting convened by NCP chief Sharad, agreed on Sinha's name. The parties that attended the meeting include the Congress, NCP, TMC, CPI, CPI-M, Samajwadi Party, National Conference, AIMIM, RJD and AIUDF, reported India Today.
"I would like to congratulate Yashwant Sinha on becoming the consensus candidate, supported by all progressive opposition parties. A man of great honour and acumen, who would surely uphold the values that represent our great nation," Mamata Banerjee said.
"It is my firm belief that for all progressive parties who share the same vision for our nation, there could not have been a better choice," said TMC's Abhishek Banerjee.
Earlier, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah and Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi had turned down offers to be the joint Opposition candidate for the presidential polls.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had called a meeting of 17 Opposition parties to build consensus for a joint presidential candidate against the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on June 15. But with numbers on its side, the NDA is expected to ensure the victory of its candidate in the presidential elections.
The polls will be held on July 18 and the result will be declared on July 21. The counting of votes, if it happens, will be held in Delhi.