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How Pratibha Patil was chosen as Presidential candidate
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | June 14, 2007 21:18 IST
Last Updated: June 14, 2007 21:24 IST
After the name of Pratibha Patil was announced as the candidate of the United Progressive Alliance for the post of the President, everyone seemed to be claiming credit for 'swinging a deal for the women of India'.
While Sitaram Yechuri said that the Left parties had accepted the name of present governor of Rajasthan, Laloo Yadav, Union Railway Minister appealed to all the MPs and MLAs to vote for her and ensure her victory.
As Sonia Gandhi announced her name at 7 Race Course Road, at the table with her were Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images], External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and the man who swung the deal -- Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, who had been carrying on consultations with various political parties and individuals.
Left leaders Prakash Karat, A B Bardhan and D Raja were the first one to arrive at Tamil Nadu House, where they held discussions with Karunanidhi for over 45 minutes. After the meeting, Karat announced that they would come back in the evening.
This was followed by a visit from Dr Karan Singh, who said that he is 'ready to serve the nation'. But the Congress sent Ahmed Patel to tell Karunanidhi that Singh was not on the list of Congress candidates.
Sometime in between the meetings, CPM leaders sent a message that they would have no problem if a woman candidate was named.
Dr Singh readily agreed, got out the list of women candidates he had prepared and went into a huddle with the Congress president to zero in on the name of Pratibha Patil.
Ironically, even as Janardhan Dwiwedi asked newsmen not to believe any of the names that were being telecast by television channels, one of those names was Pratibha Patil.
On June 25, President A P J Abdul Kalam will leave office and the new President will take oath.
It is now apparent that the new President will be from Rajasthan and a Shekhawat. Now, it remains to be seen whether it will be a male or a female.