Congress leaders to attend Mamata Banerjee’s opposition meet tomorrow

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New Delhi:

The Congress will attend a meeting called by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Delhi on Wednesday, to discuss opposition strategy for the Presidential polls scheduled next month.

Senior leaders Mallikarjuna Kharge, Jairam Ramesh and Randeep Singh Surjewala will represent the Congress at the meeting called by the Trinamool Congress leader, it is learn.

As for likely consensus so far, over the past two days there were hints that Nationalist Congress Party Sharad Pawar is one of the prospective candidates. Mr Pawar has, however, told his party that he is not in the race, sources have told NDTV. He will attend Wednesday’s opposition meeting.

President Ram Nath Kovind’s term ends on July 24. Elections will be held on July 18 for the next President of India and counting, if required, three days later.

The ruling coalition led by BJP does not have the numbers for a sure-shot victory.

In 2017, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had the support of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) of K Chandrashekhar Rao, the YSR Congress of Jagan Reddy and the BJD of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for Mr Kovind.

This time, Telangana Chief Minister Chandrashekhar Rao, or KCR, is part of efforts to gather opposition forces to take on the BJP jointly.

The presidential polls are based on an electoral college consisting of votes of MLAs and MPs. Vote value of each MLA depends on the population of a state and the number of assembly seats. The total strength of the electoral college, thus, is 10,86,431. A candidate with more than 50 per cent votes wins. The NDA is 13,000 votes short.

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