New Delhi: The run up to the race for Raisina Hill got complicated on Wednesday with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav snubbing the Congress by rejecting UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi`s choices for Presidentship.
In a day of fast-paced developments, Mamata-Mulayam block sprang up a surprise by proposing three new names for President at a joint press conference in front of SP chief’s residence. The names include former president APJ Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and former speaker Somnath Chatterjee.
Both leaders denied the names were in any order of priority and said it was for the political parties to support one of them.
Earlier in the day, disclosing Congress cards for the first time, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee after meeting UPA chairperson announced that Sonia Gandhi had proposed Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee`s name as Congress` first choice for President and Vice President Hamid Ansari`s as the second choice.
The dramatic turn of events has put the Congress in a dilemma. The party needs the support of both TMC and SP to ensure that its candidate wins.
With five names in the running now, the Indian politics has been thrown into a whirl.
These sudden twists and turns have created a flutter among political parties which are trying to make out what would be its implications for the Presidential polls.
NCP leader Sharad Pawar reacted to the TMC-SP move saying all the parties in the UPA would have to sit and consider the situation and evolve a consensus on the Presidential candidate.
"No name has been discussed with me yet. The Prime Minister will be out of station and only after he returns, any guess can be made," he said.
Other allies such as DMK, NCP, RLD and NC, have already indicated their support for Pranab Mukherjee.
The opposition BJP, however, said it would wait and watch for the official position to emerge before making known their choices.
With Agency inputs