New Delhi: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar on Thursday announced that his party will support the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance’ candidate for the president’s post.
The announcement was made by NCP chief shortly after his meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi to discuss the names of the candidates doing the rounds in the high-stake presidential election scheduled to be held in July.
NCP’s support on the issue has come as a big relief for the Congress as two major UPA alliance partners - Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party - have rejected its previously announced candidates - Pranab Mukherjee and Hamid Ansari - for the top job.
The NCP leader, ahead of reaching the 10, Janpath (Sonia Gandhi’s residence), had emphasized the ``need for consensus`` for someone to be chosen as the President.
However, he also refused to comment on the names suggested by alliance parties headed by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for the highest post.
"We don`t like to make any comment over anybody, because it is not right to comment on an individual, as it is the highest post. If we say that we like so and so for the highest post, then, it would not be right, as it is related to the country`s prestige. We won`t comment on it with anybody`s names. But we will concentrate on bringing about a unanimity and finding a road to, solution," Pawar told media here.
"We have to see how we can unanimously arrive at a common name and how we can make a way through... we have to evolve a consensus," Pawar added.
His remark came a day after Mulayam and Bannerjee together announced the names of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former president APJ Abdul Kalam and former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee as their preferred choices for the July 19 presidential poll.
However, Congress today rejected the proposal made by the Samajwadi Party and the Trinamool Congress and snubbed the West Bengal leader for going overboard on the issue.
Congress made it clear that Dr Manmohan Singh will continue to serve the nation as Prime Minister till 2014 General Election.