New Delhi: UPA chairperson and president of the Congress party, Sonia Gandhi met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh just before the crucial Congress Core Group meet in the national capital on Thursday evening.
The meeting assumes significance considering the fact that a key UPA ally Mamata Banerjee had named the PM as a potential candidate for the post of the President yesterday, along with Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh. This was virtually seen as a no-confidence in the Prime Minister by the Congress’ ally and its potential ally.
Though no Congress leader came out yesterday on record to say that Manmohan Singh was not in the race for Raisina Hill, Janardhan Diwedi and Ambika Soni categorically said today that there was no question of Manmohan Singh relinquishing the PM’s post before 2014.
Earlier in the day, Congress president Sonia Gandhi held a series of discussion with her colleagues and senior leaders of UPA alliance partners to build consensus over a presidential candidate acceptable to all.
With several names doing the rounds, the race for Raisina has become more complicated and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi`s credibility is on test to ensure the nomination of a preferred Congress candidate.
In a bid to consensus on the issue, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Makhan Lal Photedar, RK Dhawan met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence today.
Shortly after their meeting, Defence Minister AK Antony, Home Minister P Chidambaram and DMK strongman TR Balu also met Sonia Gandhi.
During the meeting, Balu reportedly told Sonia Gandhi about the assurance given by DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi to support Pranab Mukherjee’s candidature for the top job.