The AAP today announced that it would support Meira Kumar, the opposition nominee for the presidential poll, after the latter “appealed” to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to back her candidature.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh said the decision to support Kumar was taken by the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), the party’s apex decision making body, to “strengthen democracy”.
“AAP will support joint opposition’s candidate Meira Kumar in (the) presidential election,” senior party leader Ashutosh posted on Twitter.
On supporting Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the opposition’s candidate for the vice presidential poll, Ashutosh said the PAC will discuss the issue later.
“We believe that a time should not have come for voting for a crucial post like the president. All political parties should have come together and put up a consensus candidate.
“Nevertheless, election is taking place to choose the president. In such a scenario, the Aam Aadmi Party supports the joint opposition candidate,” Singh said.
“Kumar had called up AAP’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal seeking support,” Singh added.
The presidential election is taking place on July 17. Ram Nath Kovind has been fielded by the ruling BJP and its allies.
Some opposition parties, including the JD(U), Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the YSR Congress and the Biju Janta Dal, have extended support to Kovind’s candidature.
The Congress did not invite the AAP when it had held discussions with other opposition parties on the matter.
An AAP leader, who did not want to be named, said the party was “fine” with keeping a distance from the Congress.
The AAP is the principal opposition party in Punjab.
The four-year-old party has 85 MLAs and four MPs, which translate into around 9,000 votes in the electoral college for the presidential election.