NEW DELHI: After reaching out to various political parties, BJP brass will hold its first formal meeting to finalise its candidate for the Presidential polls on Tuesday, after which the name is likely to be announced formally within a couple of days. Home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh and party president JP Nadda will hold the meeting at the party headquarters on Tuesday to discuss the response of allies as well as non-NDA outfits.
The deliberations are being held against the backdrop of NDA announcing its candidate before June 26, when PM Narendra Modi is set to leave for a two-day visit to Germany for the G-7 summit. The last date for filing nomination papers for the Presidential polls is June 29.
The party had authorised Singh and Nadda to reach out to various political parties for a consensus candidate after which they had telephonic conversations with heads of various political parties. However, many of those approached asked NDA to spell out their choice first.
NDA, assured of the support of swing non-NDA regional players Biju Janata Dal and YSR Congress, looks set to get its nominee appointed to the top constitutional position for the second straight time in what will mark yet another statement of its dominance.
BJP as well as larger political circles have been abuzz with speculation about who could get the nod. Like five years ago when BJP settled on Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit, to seek to build on the gains it had made among the Scheduled Castes, political circles feel that the party could favour a woman or a tribal in case it wants to look beyond Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu.
Naidu, a former BJP chief who was plucked out of the Union Cabinet to be appointed the vice-president, has strong credentials. However, party sources indicate that the leadership would not be averse to look at “new faces”.
The BJP leadership will also have to soon decide on continuing Naidu as the veep or choosing someone else for the contest that it is set to win hands down.
The party has constituted a 14-member committee under Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. The committee held its first meeting on Sunday and the members are likely to visit various states from Wednesday onwards.

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