Naveen, Yechury pitch for ‘secular’ presidential candidate

Bhubaneswar: CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here and held discussions on fielding a common candidate by all secular opposition parties for the President’s post.

The election to the country’s highest constitutional office will be held in July when the term of President Pranab Mukhrjee ends.

“I met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and held discussions on selecting the next President of India. The candidate with impeccable secular credentials should be nominated to the post,” said Yechury.

“The Chief Minister agreed with me on this count”, the Communist Party of India-Marxist leader added.

He, however, said no name of a likely candidate cropped up during the discussion.

Support from the Biju Janata Dal, which has more than 32,500 votes in the presidential election, will give the opposition a fighting chance against the ruling National Democratic Alliance.

Earlier, Patnaik said his BJD will reveal its cards only after the NDA nominates its candidate.