NCP favours Pranab as Presidential candidate
The key UPA ally is keen to back Pranab Mukherjee over Vice President Hamid Ansari, who is also among the top contenders for the post of the President.
New Delhi: As the talk for a Presidential candidate gains ground, Sharad Pawar`s NCP is learnt to have favoured Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for the top Constitutional post.
The key UPA ally is keen to back Mukherjee over Vice President Hamid Ansari, who is also among the top contenders for the post of the President.
"Pranab Mukherjee suits us more," a NCP leader said on condition of anonymity.
He pointed out that both the UPA and the NDA do not have the numbers to get their choice of candidates elected and will have to depend on allies.
The party believed that former president APJ Abdul Kalam and other non-political candidates were out of contention for the top post.
When asked for comments on the Presidential election, NCP spokesman DP Tripathi said neither has the party thought of any name nor has any name being suggested to it by the Congress or other UPA partners.
"The party has not thought about any name, nor has any name been suggested to us," he said.
Asked about Mukherjee emerging as a candidate, Tripathi said the NCP has not formed any view on the subject.
"It has to come to us from the Congress, then we can think of a response," he said.
Asked whether the party would back Ansari for the top post, Tripathi said that he cannot pre-judge the stand of the party.
On NCP general secretary PA Sangma`s statement pitching for a tribal candidate as President, Tripathi merely said that "Sangmaji is an important leader of the country. He has every right to have his say."