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Presidential election 2017: Opposition may field Meira Kumar against BJP's Ram Nath Kovind

On Tuesday evening, Congress president Sonia Gandhi met senior Congress leader Meira Kumar at her residence fueling speculation that the former Lok Sabha Speaker has made the cut among a number of names doing the rounds as the Opposition's candidate for India's next President.

In their big meeting today to be attended by 16 of 17 Opposition parties, it is likely that they will zero in on their prominent Dalit face, Meira Kumar, as their joint candidate to take on the BJP's Ram Nath Kovind in the July 17 presidential election.

With consensus missing on Kovind, it is clear now that there is going to be a contest for the President on July 17 between the ruling National Democratic Alliance led by the BJP, and the Opposition led by the Congress.

Meira Kumar, 72, tops the list of the Opposition's likely candidates. The list so far has another Dalit leader from the Congress Sushil Kumar Shinde, CPI national secretary D Raja, and retired diplomat and Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Gopal Krishna Gandhi.

The Left parties are also reported to be rooting for Prakash Ambedkar, a former Member of Parliament and grandson of BR Ambedkar. The 63-year-old Dalit is a former Lok Sabha member from Akola in Maharashtra. He heads the Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh.

The Opposition parties barring the Janata Dal (United) are meeting in New Delhi today. There is likely to be a clarity on who will be the Opposition's candidate for the presidential contest by this afternoon.