Too early to speak about Patil`s successor: Cong

Amid speculation on Presidential candidate, Congress hailed Pranab Mukherjee, whose name has been doing the rounds, as a "praiseworthy personality".

New Delhi: Amid speculation on Presidential candidate, Congress on Tuesday hailed Pranab Mukherjee, whose name has been doing the rounds, as a "praiseworthy personality" but said it was too early to say anything on who would be the successor to Pratibha Patil.

"Pranab Mukherjee is a praiseworthy personality. That`s why everybody is appreciating him. As far as Presidential nominees are concerned, we have clearly said that talks are going on.

"As and when a final decision is taken, you will be informed. It is too early to say anything. I cannot discuss any name till a decision is taken," party spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters at the AICC briefing.

When pointed out that the opposition parties have also been praising Mukherjee, Alvi said, "If Opposition parties are praising Mukherjee, we appreciate them for that. We are happy for that."

At the same time, he made it clear that he was "not ruling out" any name when he asked whether Congress` refusal to come out with a categorical response on Mukherjee`s candidature means he is being ruled out.

Alvi also said that he was unable to understand "why media is in a hurry".
Party leaders speaking on condition of anonymity said that ruling out Mukherjee`s candidature at this stage is indeed difficult, when a number of allies and other parties have officially and unofficially already named him as their preferred candidate.

A leader at the same time dismissed contentions that Vice President Hamid Ansari`s candidature can be ruled out now. "You never know what happens in politics finally," was his refrain.


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