It’s official: Pranab Mukherjee is UPA’s Presidential nominee
PM Approaches BJP To Build Consensus
New Delhi, June 15: Spurred by its revolting allies Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party, the Congress-led ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has finally declared Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, 77-year-old Congress veteran from West Bengal, as its nominee for the Presidential elections.
A formal announcement to this effect was made by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at a brief meeting of the UPA allies held here on Friday. Expectedly, Trinamool Congress chief Mamta Banerjee skipped the meeting after having announced the candidature of former President APJ Abdul Kalam and instead flew to Kolkata.
“Leaders of the constituent parties of the UPA met. It was decided to propose Mr Mukherjee as candidate for the office of the President of India,” Gandhi said at the meeting that lasted nearly an hour.
Although, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance had kept its decision on the Presidential candidate’s choice in abeyance after a brief meeting held early in the day, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh responded quickly and rang up the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, and sought support for Mukherjee. The move is in line with the UPA’s thinking to ensure that he is elected unopposed.
The UPA also appealed to all political parties, including the NDA, as well as MPs and MLAs to endorse Mukherjee’s nomination to the top post. Gandhi’s statement has set the tone for mobilizing support for his candidature across the political spectrum including the opposition camp. Given Mukherjee’s stature and wide-experience as a political leader and trouble-shooter, there are strong chances of his unopposed election.
First indications to this effect was available as the Samajwadi Party, which had earlier joined hands with the Trinamool Congress to promote Dr Kalam, lost no time in welcoming the UPA’s decision. Senior SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav backed Mukherjee.
Mukherjee’s move to have established contact with the CPM, by calling up former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhatacharya earlier, paid dividends as the party also welcomed his candidature. However, its senior leaders clarified that a formal decision to back Mukherjee will be taken after a meeting of the four Left Parties to be held on June 21.
The opposition and its allies will find it hard to pull together the numbers to take on the Finance Minister with a rival candidate. Former President APJ Abdul Kalam was being eyed by them, but he is reportedly unwilling to run against Mukherjee, who is expected to resign from the Finance Ministry on June 24 after the Prime Minister returns from the G-20 summit in Mexico.
True to the spirit of the statement read out by Gandhi, the UPA particularly the Congress is preparing to make an all-out effort to reach out to all the political parties. In this connection, it is likely that efforts will be made to mollify Banerjee despite reports of both the Congress and the Trinamool Congress camps seriously mulling over snapping political ties with each other.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 16 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM FRONTPAGE
Calls For Early Resolution Of Kashmir
Budgam, June 15: Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq Friday said there is no rift in the amalgam. Addressing a public gathering at Imam Bara Chowk here, Mirwaiz said that “there can More
- Srinagar City
Teenage girl feared to lose leg
Srinagar, June 15: She tries to speak but cries in pain. 17-year-old Shabab Zehra of Shamaswari Safa Kadal is bedridden at Bone and Joint Hospital Barzulla. For this schoolgirl, Srinagar’s two main fear More
Directs CS to file details
Jammu, June 15: A Division Bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court today rapped the state government for its “failure and inefficiency” to recover commercial and sales tax from the defaulters from across More
- South Asia
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Islamabad, June 15: Pakistan's current administration took up the issue of normalising trade with India, which previous governments had been unwilling to touch, as part of measures to transform ties between More
Devotees face difficulties
Charar-e-Sharief (Budgam): Devotees visiting the famous shrine of Sheikh Noorudin Wali (RA) here in central Kashmir are facing immense problems as the main toilet block comprising at least ten toilets More
- Education and Career
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, June 15: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today gave an assurance that the autonomy of IITs will be maintained, a federation opposing the proposed common entrance to these institutes said after More