"It is decided by the party. Party nominates. No one can become president on his own wish," the Finance Minister told reporters at his residence here.
UPA sources had said yesterday that Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who has been authorised by the party's Working Committee to pick the candidate, is likely to make the announcement around June 15, probably a couple of days after the expected poll notification by the Election Commission.
Sonia Gandhi's political advisor Ahmed Patel also had a meeting with Mukherjee at his North Block office yesterday. The sources said the Congress has already secured the support of key allies like DMK, NCP and RLD, who form part of the government, and outside supporters like Samajwadi Party.
BSP, another outside supporter, and UPA's second largest constituent Trinamool Congress, are not expected to oppose the UPA candidate. Asked about Congress ally Trinamool Congress' decision to go it alone in next year's panchayat election in West Bengal, Mukherjee said, "It will be decided by the WBPCC. I have no comments to make".