Election Commission issues notification for President's election

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After prolonged silence on the issue, Shah constituted the three-member committee for consultations with the NDA allies and the opposition on the issue.

The 10-part sub-gathering of the opposition is meeting interestingly after its constitution as of late.

A BJP committee to pick the next Presidential candidate is set to meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday after meeting CPM's Sitaram Yechury.

The senior Ministers also discussed and elicited views of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader Anbumani Ramadoss as also that of Congress NR leader N Rangaswamy in Tamil Nadu. Union minister Venkaiah Naidu spoke to BSP's SC Mishra and NCP's Praful Patel as well.

On Wednesday, Venkaiah Naidu and Rajnath Singh met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to brief him about the election. JD (U) parliamentarian K C Tyagi said, "The opposition parties have decided that we will defer a decision on this subject".

Regional compulsions also surfaced with the NCP leader, Praful Patel, indicating that if the BJP proposed the name of a Maratha candidate, it would be hard for his outfit to oppose. But after BJP's astounding performance in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Manipur, the gap will narrow down to 20,000 votes, an official in the Election Commission explained.

"This was the first preliminary meeting and there was no discussion over names".

All 10 members of the opposition sub-group formed for this goal met in the chambers of the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, PTI sources said.

The probable names doing the round in the saffron camp for the top post include Jharkhand governor Draupadi Murmu, Keralal governor P. Sathasivam, Ram Naik and Mrs Sushma Swaraj.

The process for the election of the next President was formally set in motion on Wednesday with the Election Commission issuing a notification, opening the filing of nominations for the July 17 contest.

The opposition parties have chose to put on hold their discussions on the presidential polls until the ruling NDA makes its choice regarding its nominee for the top job, with some parties saying they will take a call after assessing whether the BJP nominee is a "credible and acceptable" figure.

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