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Congress trying to arrive at consensus on presidential candidate: Renuka Chaudhary

New Delhi, Thu, 03 May 2012 ANI

New Delhi, May 3 (ANI): Congress leader Renuka Chaudhary has said the party is trying to arrive at a consensus with the widest consultation in deciding on the next person to be president.

"It is always nicer when we get a consensus and we can move together collectively, it is a good signal that we give to the nation, if that happens, well and good, otherwise no one is afraid of a contest, that option is always there, but we are trying to get a consensus with the widest consultation in the best democratic practice," Chaudhary told media here.

Chaudhary also said the consultation is in process with party colleagues.

"At this point, we are in consultation with our colleagues and I believe personally, it is not my party opinion but my personal opinion that anybody who is considered for the post and comes into it qualifies to be the President and I wouldn't want to comment on them personally, I don't think that they are lacking in any of the qualities that have been prescribed, I would like to believe that," said Chaudhary.

There have been certain rumours that the Congress has been trying to reach out to ally partners to have a consensus on Vice President Hamid Ansari or Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for the prestigious post.

The Congress has till now remained tight-lipped on the issue and has refused to be drawn in the ongoing speculations.

Earlier, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj strongly backed former President A.P.J Abdul Kalam's candidature, but the move backfired after Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav asserted that the issue had not been discussed within the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

However, BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy clarified the issue saying that: " It was Sharad Yadav's answer to a question on this particular issue, and he was very categorical in saying that the issue has not been discussed by the NDA. This is what Sushma Swaraj said. So, I think the line taken by both leaders was the same."

"It is very unfortunate that it has been presented in another way. There is no rift on this particular subject between the JD-U and the BJP. It's a mere speculation," he added.

Current incumbent Pratibha Devisingh Patil's term ends on July 25 this year. She was sworn-in as the 12th President of India on July 25, 2007.

The president is the constitutional head of the country and also the supreme commander of the armed forces. (ANI)

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