NEW DELHI: From the ruling NDA, three names from the Muslim community and one from the Sikhs are doing the rounds for the post of the second highest constitutional position, the Vice President. The Election Commission on Tuesday issued a notification for the August 6 polls to elect the 16th Vice President, setting in motion the process of filing nominations by candidates.
According to the notification, July 19 is the last date for filing nominations. Political circles are agog with speculation over three Muslim names — Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and former Union minister Najma Heptulla. Capt. Amrinder Singh is the fourth likely candidate from the ruling alliance.
The BJP has enough electoral strength to get its candidate elected as Vice President. The party can again spring a surprise on the lines of its Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu. The term of incumbent M Venkaiah Naidu ends on August 10. The next Vice President will take oath on August 11. The scrutiny of nomination papers will take place on July 20, and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is July 22.
“An intensive search is on to pick an able, non-controversial leader belonging to the ‘pasmanda’ Muslim to be named as the Vice-Presidential candidate,” said a senior BJP leader. “If no one is found as per the required profile, the party could zero in on any one of four names — Arif Mohammed Khan, Naqvi, Najma Heptulla and former Punjab CM Amrinder Singh,” said the BJP leader.