Within a few days’ time, the BJP central leadership would decide as to whom it would field as its candidate to become the next President among Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan or Jharkhand Governor Manorama Murmu.
The BJP’s presidential nominee would be announced on 15th June, it is reported from the national capital. Presidential elections are to be held on 17th July to replace incumbent President Pranab Mukhrejee whose term ends next month. Counting of votes would be taken up on 20th July and results would be announced on the same day.
A few weeks back, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s name was doing rounds as the probable Presidential candidate; later, Tamil superstar Rajinikanth’s name was mentioned as the BJP’s nominee. Opposition parties, in the meantime, haven’t yet decided about their consensus candidate who would be pitted against BJP’s Sumitra Mahajan or Manorama Murmu.
BJP chief Amit Shah, who has led the BJP to many electoral victories during the past 2-3 years, is to make a formal announcement about the party’s candidate on 15th June. Hailing from Maharashtra, Sumitra also has the back-up of Shiv Sena, an important cog in the Sangh Parivar’s wheel. She has been asked to put on hold her recently planned tour abroad, giving rise to the speculation that she might be named as the Presidential candidate.
Murmu, hailing from Odisha and who is a member of the ST community, would become the first-ever ST president of the country if she is elected. Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu’s name is referred to as the next Vice-President.