Presidential poll talks: Mamata Banerjee arrives in Delhi

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Jun 12: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrived here on Wednesday evening for consultations with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on the issue of nominating the UPA candidate for presidential poll. Speculation is rife at the moment about Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's candidature for the post. Soon after her arrival here, Banerjee, whose Trinamool Congress is a key constituent of the UPA, met Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav to discuss the presidential polls.

"I am meeting Soniaji tomorrow to discuss the Presidential elections," Banerjee told reporters after her arrival here. Trinamool Congress, with 19 members in the Lok Sabha, is the largest constituent of the UPA after the Congress. On the other hand, Yadav's Samajwadi Party, which has 22 members in the Lok Sabha, is an outside supporter of the ruling alliance.

Earlier in Kolkata, Banerjee said she would wait for the Congress to propose a nominee for the top constitutional post. "Let me see what they say," was her brief reply to a question on whether she would propose any name. On being told that the name of Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's was doing the rounds as the presidential nominee, she said it was Congress's matter. "Let me see what she (Sonia Gandhi) says," Banerjee said. Gandhi, authorised by the Congress Working Committee to decide the candidate, is engaged in consultations with allies on evolving a consensus nominee. Defence Minister AK Antony has already held discussions with DMK chief M Karunanidhi while Sonia Gandhi had talks with NCP leader Sharad Pawar and RLD chief Ajit Singh on the presidential candidate.

The presidential election will be held on July 19, while the results will be announced on July 22.


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