Presidential Poll: Mukherjee, Antony meet Sonia
New Delhi, June 14 (ANI): A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav put the Congress in a fix by rejecting Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as the first choice candidate for president, Mukherjee and Defence Minister A.K. Antony met UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi here today.
The Congress Core Committee is expected to meet this evening to take a final call on who will be the party's presidential candidate.
Banerjee and Mulayam have announced the names of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee as their preferred choices for the July 19 presidential poll.
"Our first choice for President is APJ Abdul Kalam, the second choice is PM Manmohan Singh and third choice is Somnath Chatterjee," said Mulayam after meeting Mamata.
The latest developments appear to be a major blow for the ruling Congress Party, as both Mamata and Mulayam have rejected the names of Mukherjee and Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari.
Mamata, who met Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday, remains non-committal over the UPA chairperson's suggestion, saying she would revert on the issue after discussing it with her Trinamool Congress colleagues.
"I had a detailed discussion with her. Sonia Gandhi told that Pranab Mukherjee is first choice for President and the second choice is (Vice-President) Hamid Ansari," she told media.
Banerjee also said that she had told Gandhi that she would go back and discuss with her Trinamool Congress colleagues and revert on the issue.
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.
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 Gandhi to decide on the candidates for the coming presidential and vice presidential elections.
Gandhi has so far held discussions with DMK chief Karunanidhi, NCP leader Sharad Pawar and RLD chief Ajit Singh on the presidential candidate. (ANI)
Read More: Sonia Gandhi | Mamata Bannerjee | Sonia Vihar | Romana Ajit Singh | Ghela Somnath | Kalam | Somnath Borgaon | Karala Kalam | Somnath Prakala Bo | R.n. Mukherjee Road | Mahendra Banerjee Road | Chatterjee Hat | Sarat Chatterjee Rd. | West Congress Para Ndso | Banerjee Chak | Sonia | Mamata Banerjee | Sharad Pawar | Pranab Mukherjee | Manmohan Singh
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