New Delhi: Veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi has launched his bid to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, lobbying the RSS and the BJP leadership vigorously for the party’s presidential nomination, insiders told India Today. Elections for the presidency are due next year, when incumbent Pranab Mukherjee’s term expires.
Joshi recently met PM Narendra Modi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and several other senior BJP and Sangh leaders, party sources said. On May 22, Modi and Joshi met at 7, RCR over dinner. They discussed various matters, including the presidential candidacy, sources said.
The Sangh’s advice will play a key role when the prime minister and BJP chief Amit Shah decide BJP’s nominee for the head of state. Sources also revealed that in the first week of June, Joshi held a long discussion with Bhagwat at the RSS HQ in Nagpur. He also met several other RSS leaders in Mumbai on June 6-7, they added.
RSS ideologue Devendra Swaroop has already thrown his weight behind Joshi for the post of the country’s next president. He described Joshi as a leader of “Deendayal Upadhyay’s tradition,” a reference to the late president of the former Bharatiya Jana Sangh.
Ram Bahadur Rai, the new chairman of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, is also supporting the BJP leader.