NEW DELHI, June 16 - The government today reached out to the opposition on the presidential election with Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and M Venkaiah Naidu meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi, but the discussions were inconclusive with no names being put forward from either side.
�We expected that BJP leaders will come up with some name, one or more, for the post of President of India, so that the Congress party could take a call on that. But nothing of that happened. BJP leaders did not propose any name and instead asked us the names,� Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said after the meeting.
Part of the ruling BJP�s outreach to stitch a consensus on the official nominee for India�s next President, this was the first meeting between the government and the opposition on the issue.
The BJP has formed a three-member committee of senior leaders � Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Naidu � and will meet other opposition leaders too. Jaitley is in Korea and was not part of the meeting at Gandhi�s 10 Janpath residence that last for about 30 minutes.
Azad said the Congress expected the BJP team, which had sought time from Gandhi, to give names so discussions could be held within the party and with other opposition leaders.
�No name came up from the government side, and they said they have not yet decided on the name. Whenever they decide on the name, they will seek our cooperation and come back. Till the time any name comes, there is no question of discussion or support,� he said.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who was also present during the meeting, said BJP leaders came only to meet and seek cooperation on the presidential election.
�They have not given any names; since they have not given names, there is no question of consensus. If they give the names, only then can we discuss them. There is no question of consensus,� he said.
The Congress leader said the BJP was seeking cooperation but his party did not know what is on their mind. � PTI