[Sonia Gandhi, Rajnath SIngh, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee in a file photo.]
New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu constituting the minister-level committee to consult with the opposition will meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi and CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechuri to build a consensus over the new president.
Besides the BJP allies, the ministers had earlier held talks with leaders of other opposition parties like Sharad Pawar's NCP and Mayawati's BSP to build support.
Earlier reports said that the BJP will reveal the name of its nominee for the new president in a week's time. News18 however claimed that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is almost certain to be the NDA's candidate for the post of president.
It is also learnt that opposition leaders including Sharad Yadav, Sitaram Yechury, Derek O'Brien and Ghulam Nabi Azad have also met to take stock of the situation.
President Pranab Mukherjee's five-year term expires on July 24 and election will be inevitable if consensus between the ruling alliance and the opposition parties is not built up soon.
According to the schedule released by the Election Commission of India, the election for the new president of India will be held on July 17 and counting of votes if necessary will be held on July 20.
The last date of filing nominations is June 28, scrutiny of nominations will take place on June 29 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is July 1.
Elected members of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and state assemblies including assemblies of Delhi and Puducherry are eligible to take part in the election.
The nominated members of either Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha or Legislative Assemblies of the States are not eligible to be included in the Electoral College.