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Next general election to play key role in selection of BJP prez candidate

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New Delhi, June 10 (Ajit Weekly News) The ruling BJP at the Centre will decide its presidential candidate with an eye on the next general election to be held in 2024. The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday announced the schedule for election for the next President.

The BJP is just short of 50 per cent of the Electoral College and is hopeful of getting support of Navin Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal and Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in next month’s Presidential polls.

Currently opposition parties collectively have 51.1 per cent share of Electoral College while the BJP and its alliance partners have 48.9 per cent. The difference is mere two per cent which can be easily managed by winning support of opposition parties not comfortable in standing with Congress.

While the BJP strategists will manage the support of party candidates, the party leadership is looking for a suitable candidate which can balance the social equation with an eye on the next parliament election in 2024.

Party sources said that amid all speculation and names doing rounds for the presidential candidate, the leadership may nominate a candidate either belonging to Other Backward Class (OBC), a woman, Scheduled Tribe or South Indian to win that particular section of votes in General Election 2024.

Amid the demand of caste-based Census, political parties know that OBC constitutes over 40 per cent of the country’s total population, while women account for nearly half of India’s population.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has on several occasions said that women are the new vote bank of the BJP.

BJP sources said that the party might nominate either an OBC or a woman for the post of President or go for a woman OBC candidate.

Meanwhile names of several BJP leaders doing round for the Presidential candidate of party which includes the names of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, former Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu, and Chhattisgarh Governor Anusuiya Uikey, Kerala Governor Arif Mohd Khan and Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel.

Name of former union minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and minister of minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is also doing rounds in the party circle for the post.

After the announcement of the schedule of Presidential polls a senior party leader said that several names are doing rounds but right now no one knows what top leadership is thinking. “Top leadership will decide the names taking everything in consideration. Their choice, like last time, may surprise everyone,” he said.

As per the poll schedule, notification for the President election will be issued on June 15 and the last day of filing nomination will be June 29.

Scrutiny of nomination papers will be held on June 30 and last day of withdrawal of nomination papers will be July 2. Polling, if required, will be held on July 18 and counting will take place on July 21

–Ajit Weekly News

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