Prez polls: Pranab dismisses reports that he is frontrunner

Trinamool and SP appear to be not averse to Mukerjee's candidature if the Congress decides on it.

Written by Agencies | Manila | Published: May 4, 2012 9:49 am

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today dismissed as speculation media reports that he has emerged as a frontrunner in the race for presidential election.

“It is speculative. I don’t want to comment on it,” he told reporters on way to Manila where he will be attending the 45th Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank’s Board of Governors.

Mukherjee appears to be emerging as frontrunner in the race for President’s post within his party and outside with allies and some others backing him.

Key UPA constituent Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party,which held discussions yesterday on the issue appear to be not averse to Mukerjee’s candidature if the Congress decides on it and evolves a broad consensus,sources in both the parties said.

However,the chances of Vice President Hamid Ansari becoming a UPA sponsored candidate are also not being ruled out completely given the fact that the running of the government is highly dependent on Mukherjee’s utility as a troubleshooter,Congress sources said.

The final decision depends on the party leadership,which has to take the call whether to spare Mukherjee for the constitutional post. A senior leader said Mukherjee also stood a chance because the government has only two more years to go.

They said that other key constituents of UPA,DMK and NCP,have promised their support to Congress and much would depend on what stand TMC,the second largest party in UPA,takes.

Significantly,BJP ally JDU came out in support of both Pranab and Ansari.

Trinamool sources also indicated that TMC would go with the UPA if there is a consensus on candidate being fielded by it.

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