New Delhi: Ending days of intense speculation, Congress president Sonia Gandhi announced the name of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s as United Progressive Alliance (UPA) presidential candidate on Friday.
Announcing the decision taken after a meeting of the UPA allies at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s official residence 7 Race Course Road – attended by all UPA partners except Trinamool Congress – Sonia said, “Leaders of the constituent parties of today and it was decided to propose the name of Shri Pranab Mukherjee as the candidate for the office of the President of India.”
“Shri Pranab Mukherjee has a long and distinguished public service spanning over 5 decades. There is broad support for candidature; UPA appeals to all political parties and members of the Parliament and other legislatures to support Shri Pranab Mukherjee for the office of the President,” she added.
The high-level meet when the historic decision was announced by Sonia was attended by all top cabinet ministers.
Amid applause from all those present, DMK leader TR Baalu honoured Sonia with a bouquet and then also felicitated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pranab Mukherjee by presenting them shawls.
Besides Baalu, among those present were RLD chief Ajit Singh, Omar Abdullah and Sharad Pawar from the NCP.
Apart from the UPA constituents, the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have also assured support to Pranab, reports claimed.
Also, the Left has also indicated that it will support Pranab as President after the UPA announces his name, sources told Zee News.
As per reports, Pranab would now resign as Finance Minister and file nomination on June 25, after PM returns from a foreign tour.