New Delhi: The Trinamool Congress on Thursday said there will be a contest if the Congress goes ahead with its proposed names for the presidential candidate, including Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
"Today, I can visualise a contest if Congress go ahead with those names, either Pranab Babu or Hamid Ansari. Trinamool Congress, Mamata Banerjee our chief and Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh, they may go with A.P.J. Abdul Kalam," Trinamool MP Kunal Ghosh said.
Banerjee, who met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi Wednesday evening, had revealed that Mukherjee was the first choice of the Congress for the president`s post followed by Ansari.
Banerjee had then met Mulayam Singh Wednesday evening and stunned everyone by announcing three new names, including that of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Kalam and former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee as their preferences for the presidency.
Reacting to Congress slamming Banerjee for revealing the names of their preferred presidential candidate to the media Wednesday, Ghosh said that Banerjee took Gandhi`s permission before doing so.
He said Banerjee had told Gandhi that when she went out, the media will ask her about the names and asked if she could reveal the two names.
Ghosh further said that Banerjee could not meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday due to unavoidable circumstances.
"Yesterday, the prime minister wanted to talk with Mamata ji but at 4.30 p.m., Mamata ji had an appointment with Sonia Gandhi. So, Mamata ji informed the Prime Minister`s Office (PMO) that any appointment can be made only after 6 p.m. but unfortunately after 6 p.m., PM was busy," said Ghosh.
"There is no question of refusing any talk," he added.