Pranab emerges as consensus candidate; Mamata gives the nod

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Pranab Mukherjee
New Delhi, May 4: After flexing her muscles, it seems West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has finally given her nod to the Congress’ choice of President in the upcoming Presidential elections. The Trinamool Congress finally gave the green signal on Thursday after hectic parleys and negotiations.

Ahead of this, Mamata met with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Thursday to discuss the issue. Following the important meeting, a Union Minister from the Trinamool Congress has been quoted as saying, “Mamata has no objection to Pranab but it is for Congress to take a decision.”

Mamata’s meeting with Sonia was followed by her meeting with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who she met in the evening on Thursday. It is understood that she is bargaining for a vice-president of 'their choice'.

Mamata will also meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday as part of the negotiations.
With the Presidential nominations issue heating up the political space, Sonia Gandhi also reportedly held discussions with PM Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. On being asked about the ‘confusion’ on the Presidential candidates, Sonia remarked, “Be patient, there’s still time.”

With every passing day, Pranab Mukherjee is emerging as the consensus candidate across party lines with he getting the confidence of both the BJP and CPI(M). Politburo and Rajya Sabha member Sitaram Yechury stated, “Last time the Left proposed Ansari’s name for vice-president. As far as Mukherjee is concerned we have no objection.”

CPI, however, had its own reservations on former President APJ Abdul Kalam; while the JD(U) was fine with either Pranab Mukerjee or Hamid Ansari as the Presidential candidate. Spokesman of the JD(U), Shivanand Tiwari said, “Both are good names. Pranab Mukherjee is the most experienced politician.”

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