The former Prime Minister said he doesn’t want to refer Murmu as merely a tribal candidate, but wants to say that she is ”competent” for the post of the President. ”I don’t want to go into details on the reasons why BJP has made her (Murmu) the candidate. Several names were floated. First meeting (of opposition parties) I attended with Sharad Pawar. But the point is, in my opinion the candidate that was selected (by BJP) is really one of the suitable candidates,” Gowda said in response to a question on Murmu’s candidacy.
Speaking to reporters here, he said, ”Why, I tell you….she was Governor of Jharkhand, no one spoke against her there. She was first the Minister in the Naveen Patnaik government (in Odisha), then Governor of Jharkhand…I think non controversial in my experience.” Battle lines have been drawn for the July 18 presidential election with the BJP-led NDA on Tuesday naming Droupadi Murmu, a tribal leader from Odisha, as its candidate while former Union minister Yashwant Sinha was declared as a joint nominee by major opposition parties, including the Congress, the NCP and the TMC.
BJP president J P Nadda announced the candidature of 64-year-old Murmu, former Jharkhand governor, following a meeting of the party’s parliamentary board, hours after opposition parties in a joint statement named Sinha, who was earlier with the BJP but fell out with the Modi-Shah leadership and joined the Trinamool Congress in March 2021.
Gowda however did not respond to a question whether his party would support Murmu or Sinha.
The former PM and his son H D Kumaraswamy, a former CM, had attended a meeting convened by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on June 15 to build a consensus on fielding a joint candidate against the BJP-led NDA, in which as many as 17 opposition parties attended.
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