Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha said on June 21 that he will work for a “greater Opposition unity” by stepping aside from Trinamool Congress amid presidential poll buzz.
Sinha, the former BJP leader who had joined the Mamata Banerjee-led party in March last year, could be the Opposition’s joint candidate.
“I am grateful to Mamataji for the honour and prestige she bestowed on me in the TMC. Now the 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,” Sinha, the TMC vice-president, wrote.
Sources said Sinha’s name for the presidential election was proposed by a few opposition parties with some others seconding it.
The development comes after NCP chief Sharad Pawar, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi declined to stand for the top job as Opposition’s candidate.
The last date for filing nominations for the presidential elections is June 29. The polling will take place on July 18 and the votes will be counted on July 21. The term of President Ram Nath Kovind ends on July 24 and the next president should be elected before that day.
At least 17 Opposition parties will also meet today to select their consensus candidate for the presidential election.