Race to Raisina Hill: CPI for consensus on presidential candidate
New Delhi, June 13 (ANI): Amid fresh speculations that former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee's name is being considered among those in the race to Raisina Hill, Communist Party of India (CPI) lawmaker D. Raja on Wednesday did not endorse Chatterjee's name, but emphasized the 'need for consensus' for someone to be chosen as the President.
"As far as Left is concerned, we have discussed twice and we will be discussing in the coming days. Our understanding is that any candidate, whoever emerges finally must have wider acceptance, must emerge on the base of a consensus. We want if a candidate emerges on the basis of a consensus, it is good for the democratic polity," he said.
According to one report, Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee, has been in favour of Somnath Chatterjee being a Presidential candidate. Somnath Chatterjee, a long time communist, had been in the midst of a controversy when he was the Speaker of the Parliament.
Raja said he was not aware of the discussions taking place in various other political parties over this issue.
"I do not know. I am not aware. I am not preview to all the discussions that are taking place in different political parties. What I am saying is I keep seeing these names in media. When Congress Party or the Congress-led UPA comes out formally and announces its candidates, then only he or she becomes their candidate. In the same way, what BJP is going to do we don't know, what SP, BSP are going to do we don't know," said Raja.
"So far, only two parties have proposed one name, that is AIADMK and BJD proposing Sangma's candidature. All other names are in the domain of speculation. So, we will have to wait," he added.
Even as the race for president's post entering in its decisive phase, confusion still prevails over the nominees for the country's highest post.
Amidst the reports of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee being the frontrunner, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has emerged as a mystery candidate.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who arrived here on Tuesday evening for consultations with Congress President Sonia Gandhi on the issue of presidential poll nominee of UPA, is reportedly likely to propose Chatterjee's name during her meeting scheduled this evening.
Banerjee, whose Trinamool Congress is a key constituent of UPA, met Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav here earlier last evening to discuss the presidential polls.
Trinamool Congress, with 19 members in the Lok Sabha, is the largest constituent of UPA after the Congress. On the other hand, the Samajwadi Party, which has 22 members in the Lok Sabha, is an outside supporter of the ruling alliance.
The Congress has so far not named its choice for the top post. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is believed by many to be the front-runner among those vying to be the next President of India.
The cancellation of visits to Afghanistan and London by Mukherjee has fuelled speculation that the UPA would name him as its presidential candidate.
Sonia Gandhi has so far held discussions with DMK chief Karunanidhi, NCP leader Sharad Pawar and RLD chief Ajit Singh on the presidential candidate.
A fresh round of consultations on the issue of selection of a presidential nominee is taking place in the UPA, after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) authorised Sonia Gandhi to decide on the candidates for the coming presidential and vice presidential elections.
Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath had on Tuesday announced the schedule for the 14th indirect presidential election to elect the 13th President of India.
Sampath said the notification for the presidential poll would be announced on June 16. He further declared that June 30 would be the last day for the filing of the nomination by candidates for the presidential election.
Sampath said that July 2 has been fixed as the day for scrutiny of all nominations, while July 4 would be the last date for candidates to withdraw their nominations.
The presidential poll, he said, would take place on July 19, and the result would be declared on July 22.resident Pratibha Devisingh Patil will leave office on July 24. (ANI)
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