India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has proposed that a politician from a low caste become the next president, its top strategist said on Monday, in a move to consolidate the party's support among poorer voters.
The three-member party committee, which includes Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley, will brief the board members about the consultations undertaken by them with allies and opposition parties.
The BJP is expected to win the Presidential election comfortably.
The BJP leaders last week said the NDA is "absolutely confident" of the win of its candidates in both the presidential and vice-presidential elections.
"The decision will be taken soon and the name of the Presidential candidate will be announced before June 23", Naidu told media here. I have informed him about everything happening in the connection of presidential elections. "On June 24, the Prime Minister is going overseas so decision has to be taken before that", Naidu added.
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Naidu has also spoken to Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav and Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders Ram Gopal Yadav and Naresh Agrawal over phone and met Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and senior Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Satish Chandra Mishra in this regard.
"During the meeting (with Naidu and Rajnath), they wanted a consensus but did not come up with a name". SP members are understood to have expressed preference for a politician as President.
Most opposition parties - including the Congress, the Left Front and the Trinamool Congress - are waiting for the BJP to name its candidate.
The presidential poll is scheduled to be held on July 17 from 10 am to 5 pm (Indian Standard Time) while the counting of votes is on July 20.