Sonia Gandhi, in hospital, resumes attempts to unite opposition parties
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in hospital due to food poisoning, has resumed attempts to unite opposition parties to take on the Modi government in the presidential elections.
She has already fixed a meeting with TMC chief Mamata Banerjee on May 15.
Earlier, she had spoken to leaders of NCP, JD(U) as well as CPI.
President Pranab Mukherjee's term ends in July.
Presidential elections: Indian Presidential elections
President Pranab Mukherjee's term is set to end on 25 July, 2017. Elections will be conducted before this to choose his successor.
The new President will be elected by an electoral college comprising of members of both houses. The total strength of Electoral college is 10,98,882 votes.
Incumbent Presidents can stand for re-election any number of times as there is no term limit.
Opposition: Opposition parties perturbed by BJP victories
The recent electoral gains made by the BJP in state election has perturbed opposition parties.
Several leaders from the BSP, SP, JD(U) etc have appealed to pose a united opposition against the BJP for the 2019 elections.
Analysts speculate that the proposal for a common presidential candidate for the presidential elections can be a dry-run for the proposed "grand alliance."
Fact: CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury meets Sonia Gandhi
Amidst calls from the JD(U) for a common presidential candidate, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury met Sonia Gandhi at her residence to discuss the matter. The CPI(M) Politburo had earlier agreed to extend support to any common presidential candidate.
Mamata Banerjee: Mamata backs Advani for President
TMC leader Mamata Banerjee stated that she would be happy to see LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj or Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan as the president.
However, LK Advani's chances of being fielded as a candidate have been dented by the Supreme Court that reopened conspiracy charges against him on the Babri Masjid case.
Parties are yet to declare their candidates for the election.
Opposition: Opposition plans meeting to elect common presidential candidate
A united opposition is considering a meeting of all non-NDA parties to decide on a common contender for the presidential elections.
Bihar CM and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar floated the idea at a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi last week.
Opposition leaders are currently meeting regional leaders and state chiefs; a date will be decided when there's more clarity, said an official.
26 Apr 2017: While Sonia debates President candidate, Swamy backs Anandiben Patel
While Sonia Gandhi is meeting opposition leaders to choose a new presidential candidate, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy backed Anandiben Patel as the new President of India.
No names have been disclosed yet, however it is understood that Sonia is looking for a common opposition candidate for the post.
Several names have been doing the rounds for the post including LK Advani and Amitabh Bachchan.