Karunanidhi joins 'Pranab for President' chorus

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Karunanidhi-Pranab Mukherjee
Chennai, May 5: With Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee slowly emerging as the consensus candidate across party lines, the latest party leader to join the chorus is DMK supremo Karunanidhi. He said in Chennai that he backed Pranab for the President's post.

He has been quoted as saying, "If Pranab is the choice then we will support him."

After the various opinions and discussions on who will be the UPA's choice for the Presidential elections in July, the name of Pranab Mukherjee seem to be gaining momentum with every passing day. The UPA allies that seem to be in disagreement on most issues, are unified on Pranab's candidature.

Among the leaders who favour Pranab for the President's post are NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Rashtriya Lok Dal President Ajit Singh. Singh commented, "There is no doubt about Mukherjee's abilities and the fact that he deserves this post."

Among the other names that are doing the rounds are Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson Rehman Khan and Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi. Former Speaker and NCP leader PA Sangma threw a spanner in the works when he suggested the need to have a Tribal President indirectly rooting for himself for the top role. Speaking to reporters on the case, Sangma stated that a convention of tribal leaders would soon raise the pitch for an "Adivasi" President. The NCP party, however, dismissed any such claims.

Mamata Banerjee who is acting picky on her choice of Presidential nominee, diverted the Centre's attention on the relief plea for Bengal amounting to Rs 54,300 crore. In spite of her meeting with PM Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, she did not get any assurance on the moratorium due to the sheer fact that other states would also make similar demands.

On the Presidential candidate, she commented, "All our options are open."

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