Avoid an election for president, urges Praful Patel
Ajmer/New Delhi, May 4 (ANI): Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Praful Patel, on Friday said that the post of president should be treated with dignity, and added that if possible an election for it should be avoided.
Patel said that the names of Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee were welcome, and added that all parties needed to arrive at a consensus over the name.
"It has to be seen how all political groups can arrive at a consensus. But as it is the top position in the country indeed there should not be any tension over it and the dignity of that post must be maintained," Patel told mediapersons after visiting the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moninuddin Chisti in Ajmer.
"If possible, no elections for the post should take place. However, we will support the name, which has the backing of the UPA and all political groups. The two names that have been suggested are welcome," he added.
Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said various leaders were suggesting numerous names, but the final decision will be taken by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition.
"Many people have been suggesting many names, giving comments and such things are very common during such elections. But we are asking them to exercise some patience, soon the UPA, led by Congress would zero down on one name and then hold discussions with other parties on that one name," he told media in New Delhi.
Another Congress leader, Satyavrat Chaturvedi, dismissed all rumours of some internal factions in the party trying to block Pranab Mukherjee's name for the president's post.
"No one is trying to create a roadblock for anybody. The Congress party is thinking over this matter with an open mind and after having discussion within the party, its coalition partners and all the other parties, it will take a decision," he said.
There have been certain rumours that the Congress has been trying to reach out to ally partners to have a consensus on Vice President Hamid Ansari or Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for the prestigious post.
According to certain media reports, Mukherjee appears to be emerging as a front-runner in the race for the president's post within his party and outside with allies and some others backing him.
Current incumbent Pratibha Devisingh Patil's term ends on July 25 this year. She was sworn-in as the 12th president of India on July 25, 2007.
The president is the constitutional head of the country and also the supreme commander of the armed forces. (ANI)
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