Former Union minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Yashwant Sinha has been named as the common candidate of the Opposition for the Presidential elections, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said during a meeting of opposition parties on Tuesday.
The announcement comes shortly after Sinha hinted that he has accepted the proposal made by a section of Opposition leaders to make him their presidential candidate.
I am grateful to Mamataji for the honour and prestige she bestowed on me in the TMC. Now a time has come when for a larger national cause I must step aside from the party to work for greater opposition unity. I am sure she approves of the step.
— Yashwant Sinha (@YashwantSinha) June 21, 2022
While the TMC had pitched Sinha’s name, the Congress and Left parties had been insisting that the former BJP leader first resign from his party post to emerge as a more acceptable face.
Sinha, who had quit the BJP in 2018, joined the TMC last year. He was later appointed as the party’s vice-president.
Earlier, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi had declined the request of the joint Opposition to be the Presidential candidate.
Opposition leaders had met at NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s residence Tuesday morning for a second round of discussions on picking a joint consensus candidate for the presidential polls. A meeting convened by Pawar was initially scheduled to be held at the Parliament House Annexe later in the day.
The election of the office of the President of India is scheduled for July 18 and the counting of votes, if needed, will be done on July 21.