Presidential Election 2017: No consensus, cooperation unless government gives a name: Congress

New Delhi: The Congress on Friday ruled out cooperation with the government unless the ruling dispensation puts forward a name it would like to field in the presidential election, after senior Ministers Rajnath Singh and M. Venkaiah Naidu met Congress President Sonia Gandhi but did not disclose the name of its nominee.

“They (BJP ministers) did not give us any name, instead asked us for a name. We were expecting them to suggest a name. Then we would have discussed that within our own party and with other opposition parties,” senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told the media after the meeting.

Saying that the BJP leaders met Gandhi seeking cooperation in the presidential poll, both Azad and party leader Mallikarjun Kharge said unless the government named a candidate there was no question of cooperation or consensus.

“Since there was no name suggested from the government, there is no question of cooperation or discussion,” said Azad.

“They are seeking cooperation and what I can make, they have got something in their mind, that is why they have not given any name and are seeking cooperation. But unless they give a name there can’t be any question of consensus or cooperation,” Kharge added.

Singh and Naidu are part of the three-member team constituted by Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah for discussion with political parties for the presidential polls. The two BJP leaders are scheduled to meet CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury as part of efforts to reach a consensus.

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