Committee may be formed to select prez candidate: Mamata

New delhi : West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today said if opposition parties could not agree on a unanimous candidate for the upcoming presidential election, a “small committee” could be formed to help them select a suitable nominee.

Banerjee, who attended Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s lunch for 17 opposition parties here, said no names were discussed at the lunch-cum-meeting at the Parliament House Library.

Senior opposition leaders at the meet also criticised the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, which marks its third year in power at the Centre today.

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad, who was among the invitees, said the NDA had “failed” on all fronts.

“Its only achievement is that it has set the Pakistan flag fluttering in Kashmir for the first time after independence,” he said.

Banerjee told reporters after the lunch that the parties present criticised the “horrible” situation in Kashmir, where security forces were battling civilians, and in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district, which has been witnessing caste clashes since April.