Race to Raisina Hill: All eyes on Sonia- Mamata meet
New Delhi, June 13 (ANI): With the race to Raisina Hill entering in its final lap, all eyes are on Congress President Sonia Gandhi's meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee here this evening, even as the ruling UPA works towards building a consensus on its candidate for president.
"I have a meeting with Soniaji on the presidential polls. Soniaji is a party president. For Congress Party members, it is the party's prerogative. It is not my prerogative," Banerjee told reporters after arriving in Delhi on Tuesday.
Trinamool Congress, with 19 members in the Lok Sabha, is the largest constituent of UPA after Congress.
Banerjee had earlier said she would wait for the Congress to propose a nominee for the top constitutional post.
The Congress has so far not named its choice for the top post. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is believed by many to be the front-runner among those vying to be the next President of India.
The cancellation of visits to Afghanistan and London by Mukherjee has fuelled speculation that the UPA would name his as its presidential candidate.
Gandhi has so far held discussions with DMK chief Karunanidhi, NCP leader Sharad Pawar and RLD chief Ajit Singh on the presidential candidate.
A fresh round of consultations on the issue of selection of a presidential nominee has begun in the UPA, after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) authorised Sonia Gandhi to decide on the candidates for the coming presidential and vice presidential elections.
Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath on Tuesday announced the schedule for the 14th indirect presidential election to elect the 13th President of India.
Sampath said the notification for the presidential poll would be announced on June 16. He further declared that June 30 would be the last day for the filing of the nomination by candidates for the presidential election.
Sampath said that July 2 has been fixed as the day for scrutiny of all nominations, while July 4 would be the last date for candidates to withdraw their nominations.
The presidential poll, he said, would take place on July 19, and the result would be declared on July 22.resident Pratibha Devisingh Patil will leave office on July 24. (ANI)
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