Yashwant Sinha is Opposition’s President candidate

Yashwant Sinha's name came up after Sharad Pawar, Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Farooq Abdullah had opted out of the race

Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha has emerged as the consensus presidential candidate of 13 opposition parties, including the Congress, the TMC and the Samajwadi Party, which met in New Delhi on Tuesday to discuss the issue.

Opposition leaders, who gathered at the Parliament annexe for the meeting convened by NCP chief Sharad Pawar to decide on a consensus candidate for the presidential election, agreed on Sinha’s name.

A joint statement was read out by Jairam Ramesh after the meeting, announcing that the former finance minister was unanimously selected as the consensus candidate of the opposition for the presidential election.

‘No serious effort by govt’

In the press conference later, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the government did not make any serious efforts to arrive at a consensus to avoid a contest for the President’s post.

Sinha’s name came up after Sharad Pawar, Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Farooq Abdullah opted out of the race.

The parties that attended the meeting include the Congress, NCP, TMC, CPI, CPI-M, Samajwadi Party, National Conference, AIMIM, RJD and AIUDF.

Congress leaders Kharge and Jairam Ramesh, TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee, DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury and CPI’s D Raja were among those who participated in the meeting. Five regional parties considered non aligned — TRS, BJD, AAP, SAD and YSRCP — stayed away. These parties had also stayed away from the June 15 meeting convened by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.