Sonia proposes Pranab’s name
Mamata, Mulayam Pitch For Manmohan
New Delhi, June 13: The selection of a UPA nominee for the Presidential electionshas been mired in a fresh controversy with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and Samajwawi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav joining hands to shot down Congress’ first choice Pranab Mukherjee’s name.
In what could lead to hectic bargaining in the days to come, both Banerjee and Mulayam Singh proposed the three names for the Presidential elections. These include Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and former President A P J Abdul Kalam.
The two leaders proposed these names to cock a noose around the Congress leadership immediate after Banerjee met Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Curiously enough, the former immediately went public after the meeting to declare that Mukherjee was the Congress’ first choice followed by Vice-President Hamid Ansari.
The Trinamool Congress and the Samajwadi Party, both crucial regional players, with these nominations indicated that they are aligned on the Presidential election issue. Banerjee appealed to all to think about the names proposed by her and Mulayam unanimously and decide. "Presidential candidate should be chosen by consensus. There is no priority. There are no priorities in these names, let the political parties decide," added Banerjee.
"UPA will have to work on consensus candidate in light of TMC-SP proposing PM as one of their choices for President," said NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
Reacting to the latest move by both Banerjee and Mulayam, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took a dig at the UPA saying, "There is no coalition in the coalition government."
Following her meeting with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Mamata earlier in the day said that the first choice of the Congress for the post of the president is Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. Banerjee said, "Sonia told me that the first choice of the Congress for President is Pranab Mukherjee."
The West Bengal Chief Minister added that the second choice of the Congress is Vice-President Hamid Ansari.
However, Banerjee said that she told the Congress president that she cannot comment on the UPA's choice at the moment.
Meanwhile, the CPI has said that both Mukherjee as well as Ansari are unacceptable to the party as President. Key UPA ally NCP has, however, said they are okay with both the candidates. Other allies such as DMK and RLD have already indicated their support for Pranab.
The flurry of activity that began with the advent of Banerjee from Kolkata, is an indication of a larger deal-making taking place between the Congress and its key allies, especially the Trinamool. Central to this deal could be a bail out package both for West Bengal and UP.
Although, Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is by all indications the front-runner, some dark horse could well emerge out of the political confabulations, depending of course on the bargaining power of each party. But Banerjee's centrality to the discussions was very evident and she was enjoying every bit of the spotlight on her,even though she revealed nothing to the media.
Earlier, ending days of suspense, Gandhi had made it clear that finance minister Pranab Mukherjee was her first choice for presidency and Vice-President Hamid Ansari was also in the reckoning. It had raised a hope that the consensus could veer around Mukherjee’s name.
FAROOQ RULES OUT BEING IN RACE
PTI adds from London: As the hunt for a candidate for the post of President hots up, Minister of New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah has ruled out his being in the race.
"I am a free man and I would like to be so," Abdullah told newsmen here in reply to questions whether he was in the reckoning.
Abdullah, 74, was here last evening to address investor's meet.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 13 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 13 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 14 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM FRONTPAGE
- GoI final arbiter on ownership of projects: NHPC Chairman
- Cops foil Secretariat gherao
- GHAZAL MAESTRO MEHDI HASSAN NO MORE
- Kashmir remembers the legend
- Better Indo-Pak ties to facilitate K-resolution: Chief Minister
- Court asks prosecution to testify Major Avtar’s death
- ‘He was staying in US illegally’
- Sonia proposes Pranab’s name
- SSB declares teacher selection lists
- Hajj-2012 draw of lots today
Srinagar, June 13: One more infant died at the G B Pant hospital here on Wednesday, leading to protests by grieved family members. According to the family the new born baby was shifted to G B Pant More
- Srinagar City
Drive without number plates, disturb evening rush; locals, tourists annoyed; stakeholders seek extension in evening No Entry timings
TRAFFIC TROUBLE -III
GK CITY CORRESPONDENT
Srinagar, June 13: Tippers plying in the City continue to unleash terror due to alleged reckless driving while many such speeding load carriers bear no number plates. This simply means that in case of More
JAMMU, JUNE 13: More than 130 passengers and crew of a Delhi bound flight had a miraculous escape after the aircraft made an emergency landing here at Jammu airport on Wednesday morning. According More