NEW DELHI: The BJP has decided to reach out to regional parties over the election of the next President in view of the party’s assessment that several smaller outfits could support an NDA nominee for the post.
Apart from the National Democratic Alliance coalition, BJP is looking for a bigger umbrella of support for its nominee who will replace President Pranab Mukherjee in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The decision to consult regional parties was discussed at a meeting of senior BJP leaders called by party president Amit Shah on Thursday. It is understood that no names were discussed at the meeting.
The proposed consultations come at a time when BJP is weighing the benefits of proposing a ‘moderate’ face for President and in the process gaining wider support rather than a nominee seen to be imbued in a deep saffron hue.
This is a point of debate within senior BJP circles as the party begins the process of installing its choice in Rashtrapati Bhavan. Though the candidate is expected to be pretty much a BJP-Sangh person, there is a discussion on image and perception as a more acceptable candidate can impact the opposition’s moves to put up a ‘joint candidate’.
As things stand, BJP is hopeful of garnering the support of Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the two AIADMK factions along with the support of some smaller outfits. The party has also received feelers about possible cross-voting but is considering the possibility of sealing the support of more parties as well.