New Delhi: Though, the voting for the election of the next President is due to take place on July 19 but the whole nation is watching the activities of the top leaders of the national parties and regional parties with great curiosity as they are yet to decide candidates for presidential poll. As of now, all eyes are set on crucial UPA meeting on Friday when the ruling alliance is likely to announce a candidate for the top constitutional post. It is believed that Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari are the top choice of the Congress whereas TMC leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided to contest with former President APJ Abdul Kalam who is one of the three candidates favoured by her and Samajwadi Party Supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.

In fresh development, Mulayam Singh has said that he will support NDA candidate for the Presidential poll whereas Left leader and former Chief Minister of West Bengal Budhdeb Bhattacharya has talked to Pranab Mukherjee over phone. Pranab Mukherjee has declared that Congress will soon announce its candidate for Presidential poll. Two major allies of UPA- DMK and NCP- have declared to stand by decision of the ruling alliance. But senior NCP leader PA Sangama seems not ready to budge from his stand to contest presidential election. Sangama has the backing of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa for his presidential bids.

Though, the official announcement hasn’t been done but it seems that Congress can announce the name of Finance Minister Mukherjee as Presidential candidate. Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi has already discussed the issue with the UPA allies in a meeting held at her residence 10, Janpath, on Thursday. It is expected that Congress will declare the candidate’s name on Friday after another round of consultation with alliance partners.
Apparently, excluding Trinamool Congress, all the other allies of the UPA are in favour of Pranab Mukherjee for the Presidential bid. Earlier, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Ramvilas Paswan and DMK leader T R Balu gave their nod on Pranab’s name as presidential nominee.

In another major turn, Mulayam Singh’s brother and MP Ram Gopal Yadav indicated his party’s possible support for Pranab Mukherjee by saying that Pranab inherits all the qualities which is required to become a President candidate. Congress takes Gopal’s statement as a signal that some day or other SP could give its support to Pranab Mukherjee. A few hours after Mamata-Mulayam longing for Kalam as presidential nominee, Ram Gopal’s statement bears significance.
Presidential Election can take interesting turn

Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mamata Banerjee are still sticking to former President APJ Abdul Kalam. If Kalam himself gets agreed to contest the presidential election then it could take interesting turn as BJP has already declared that it will back Kalam if he agrees.

BJP senior leader L K Advani met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the run up to presidential poll and NDA allies called up a meeting on Friday to discuss on the issue. Whereas Jayalalithaa declined to say anything in this regard.

Rejecting the candidates suggested by the UPA government the crucial situation has been set up in the politics.

Interestingly, SP-TMC share more than 10 percent votes of the Electoral College to elect the next President. Given the present position of the UPA, it cannot afford to alienate the two non-NDA parties, TMC and SP.

JPN/Bureau

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