Congress readies to pick presidential candidate

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is also likely to have consultations with her party`s allies on the issue, party sources said Wednesday.

New Delhi: The Congress Working Committee (CWC) will meet here June 4, apparently to accelerate the process of selecting a candidate for the presidential polls.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is also likely to have consultations with her party`s allies on the issue, party sources said Wednesday.

The sources said a decision on the presidential candidate could be taken before the Election Commission issues a notification for presidential polls by the middle of June.

The two names doing the rounds in Congress circles are Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari.

"Whatever the decision, it will have to be taken after taking him (Mukherjee) into confidence," a party leader who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.

He said the party will also have some explaining to do to if Ansari is not chosen for the post as it is the normal practice to elevate the vice president to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

"There is also a possibility of a dark horse emerging," the leader added.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is backing Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar for presidency.

Congress has already held discussions with its allies in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) on a presidential candidate.

Party sources said another round will be held in the coming days. Parties supporting the government from outside will also be consulted.

IANS

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