New Delhi: The run up to the race for Raisina Hill got complicated on Wednesday with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav snubbed the Congress by rejecting the two choices of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi for Presidentship.
In a day of fast-paced developments, Mamata-Mulayam block sprang a surprise by proposing three new names for President at a joint press conference in front of SP chief’s residence here. The names include former president APJ Abdul Kalam, former speaker Somnath Chatterjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Both leaders denied the names were in any order of priority and said it was for the political parties to support one of them.
Earlier in the day, disclosing Congress cards for the first time, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee after meeting UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, announced that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is their first choice of Congress for Rashtrapati Bhawan and Vice President Hamid Ansari is its second choice.
The dramatic turn of events put the Congress in a dilemma. The party needs the support of both TMC and SP to ensure that its candidate wins.
With five names in the running now, the Indian politics was thrown into a whirl. These sudden twists and turns created a flutter among political parties which were trying to make out what the implications are for the Presidential polls.
NCP leader Sharad Pawar reacted to the TMC-SP move saying all the parties in the UPA would have to sit and consider the situation and evolve a consensus on the Presidential candidate.
“No name has been discussed with me yet. The Prime Minister will be out of station and only after he returns, any guess can be made,” he said.
Other allies such as DMK, NCP, RLD and NC, have already indicated their support for Pranab Mukherjee.
The opposition BJP, however, said it would wait and watch for the official position to emerge before making known their choices.
With Agency inputs