NEW DELHI, India: Rajiv Gandhi, in order to obtain consensus on the choice of new in combat for the office of President of India, consulted the former President, Mr. Reddy, who came to New Delhi on the invitation of the Prime Minister. He had a 30 minute meeting with Mr. Gandhi. Mr. Reddy replying to the questions of the newsmen told that he had discussed many issues with Mr. Gandhi including the choice of the new President. The Prime Minister he said might also consult C.PM. Leader N.M. Namboodripad and C.P.J. General Secretary Rameshwar Rao. He stated that the Prime Minister went on record to state that the new President will be from South and will be basically a Congressman. He had promised to seek consensus with other opposition parties.

Asked about his opinion on the choice of the candidate, Mr. Reddy replied that all men are good including R. Venkataraman, Mr. P.V. Narsimah Rao or Shankaranand and Mr. M. Chander Shekhar. Ultimately, however, it is for the Prime Minister to take a final decision on the choice of the new President. Asked if the opposition parties will field their candidate Mr. Reddy countered them with a question “Where are the opposition parties. Except C.P.I. and C.P.M. all other parties are a divided lot and are disintegrating further, he added. For example, if one wanted to take the opinion of the Lok Dal one does not know which Lok Dal should be consulted, he said.

Article extracted from this publication >>  June 5, 1987