Sinlung /
05 June 2012

President: Is Pranab Mukherjee Out Of The Race?

Senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes hands over meeting papers to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the extended Congress Working Committee meeting at the Parliament House Annexe in New Delhi on Monday — Sondeep Shankar
Senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes hands over meeting papers to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the extended Congress Working Committee meeting at the Parliament House Annexe in New Delhi on Monday — Sondeep Shankar
Speculation is rife on who the real candidate of the Congress for the President’s post will be, after an extended Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Monday authorised party chief Sonia Gandhi to decide on the Congress nominee for the posts of President and vice president.

The fact that finance minister Pranab Mukherjee moved the resolution, confused many within the party as he is widely seen as a potential candidate of the party for the highest office.

Opinion was divided on whether the fact that he moved the resolution was indicative his prospects had dimmed amid speculation that the prime minister could also be in the running.

According to sources, such resolutions are moved by the SC, ST, minority leader as a token gesture.

Asked if he was a candidate for President or his name was discussed at the CWC meeting, Mukherjee said, “Congress president is to select the candidate. Neither me nor anybody else.”

Explaining the role of Congress in selecting the Presidential candidate, he said, “We are the leaders of UPA so Mrs Gandhi will consider all aspects.”

When asked if his name came up when the Congress president was formally authorised to select a candidate, Mukherjee said, “No question of that. We never do so. All the time, so far as my knowledge goes, the Congress president names the candidate.”

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