This meeting, part of the government's attempt at consulting the opposition over a common Presidential candidate, is also unlikely to yield results any different from the earlier meetings with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and CPI general secretary Sitaram Yechury. BJP leaders did not propose any name and instead asked us the names, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said after the meeting.
The BJP also reached out to other Opposition parties as well to discuss the presidential candidate. Senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge today apprised the Congress president of the developments. Opposition leaders say that the choice of BJP candidate, even according to insiders, is known "only to (Prime Minister) Modi and God", to stress the point that it is Modi who is calling the shots on the issue.
They have not given any names; since they have not given names, there is no question of consensus.
Responding to CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury branding the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) meeting with the opposition as a "PR exercise", the Opposition on Saturday said the meetings are simply "unnecessary", adding that it was a "courtesy call".
Naidu also had a conversation on this with NCP Chief Sharad Pawar over the phone and met AIADMK leader Thambidurai. First of all, Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu met Samajwadi Party veteran Mulayam Singh Yadav in Delhi.
"When they have not given specific names ..."
The effort, however, remained inconclusive as the opposition parties want the government to propose a list of names.
Parleys for Presidential polls: Oppn meeting fizzles out as. "Amma always voted against Congress, so we will follow her footsteps and support the BJP candidate for the President".
With a clear numerical advantage, the BJP is not likely to change its mind and give in to the Opposition's demand to have a candidate with impeccable secular credentials, who is also committed to constitutional principles. We said fine, tell us the basis for the support, who is the candidate.
While the BJP had said its three-member committee will meet the Congress on Friday to select a consensus presidential candidate, Congress insists it has not received any formal proposal yet. It is for this very reason that party veterans LK Advani and MM Joshi have nearly been ruled out of the race to Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Both the ruling NDA and the 17-party conglomerate of Opposition parties kept their cards close to their chest on the presidential election Friday.
The two senior leaders in their meeting with CPI-M leaders suggested to them to consider if putting up a candidate for the sake of it was necessary.
Rumours are also rife about the candidate being drawn from dalit or tribal communities- a move, which may have a disarming effect on the opposition.