Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is still playing hard ball with Congress before committing its support on the President's candidature, on Wednesday got an invite from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too, which means she will meet him right after or before meeting UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is still playing hard ball with Congress before committing its support on the President's candidature, on Wednesday got an invite from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too, which means she will meet him right after or before meeting UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Reports said that the Prime Minister will meet Mamata at 6 pm on Wednesday.
It seems that the firebrand Bengal leader will have a busy Wednesday evening as she is scheduled to meet Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav after meeting both the top Congress leaders. Mulayam Singh has also reciprocated the commitment towards Mamata on the issue by saying that he will consult the TMC leader before finalising on the President's candidature.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is the first choice for the post of President for the Samajwadi Party, sources have indicated. They said that there have been informal talks between the Congress and Samajwadi Party on the issue.
Sources told CNN-IBN that Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will meet SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav right after meeting UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
"I have met Mamta Banerjee, but would not want to disclose what we have discussed," Mulayam said. "Mamta had come to me for discussion. I will also consult the TMC before finalizing the decision. Jaswant Singh had come to hold discussions on President and Vice-President polls," he said.
Even as Pranab emerges as the front runner in the race for becoming the next President of India, it won't be that easy for him. Ahead of the crucial meeting between UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, there could be other surprises.
According to sources, the Congress is keen on senior leader Karan Singh as the President, but Left leader AB Bardhan and NCP chief Sharad Pawar have said no to his candidature.
Congress leader in Uttar Pradesh Mohsina Kidwai has also emerged as one of the
possible candidates. Sources say Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav are unlikely to oppose her candidature.
Vice President Hamid Ansari is also an option that the Congress has been considering. However, sources say the Left Front and Mulayam Singh Yadav are not to keen on his candidature.
Mamata is also in favour of former West Bengal governor Gopal Gandhi as the President. However, he may not get support from the Congress and the Left Front.
Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee is also a possible candidate. Sources say Mamata is strongly in favour of his candidature and may propose his name. He is also acceptable across parties, but may not get support from the Left Front.
Mamata Banerjee will meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday. Mamata and Mulayam Singh Yadav hold the key to the Rashtrapati Bhawan and for now both seem to have given the green signal to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Mulayam's residence was the first stop that Mamata made after landing in Delhi on Tuesday. "We did have talks, but no names were discussed. I will be meeting Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday," Mamata said.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, "The CWC has authorised Congress President Sonia Gandhi to take the final decision about the party's Presidential candidate. Whenever there is some decision taken, we will tell the media."