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Narayanan is Congress-UF candidate for Presidency

The Congress-United Front candidate for the Presidency is Vice-President K R Narayanan. This was decided at a high-level meeting between Congress president Sitaram Kesri and UF convener Nara Chandrababu Naidu on Monday night.

The UF steering committee took a decision to back Narayanan at a two-hour meeting on Monday. That was the only decision the committee reached during the discussions. Opposition from the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India-Marxist prevented a decision on hiking petrol prices. That decision has been put off to Friday, June 27. This is the third time when a decision on the issue has been deferred by the steering committee.

The Congress Working Committee on Monday night authorised Sitaram Kesri to decide the party's nominee for the Presidency.

The Bharatiya Janata has empowered former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to take the decision for the party.

With the Congress and the United Front backing Narayanan, his election as India's next President is assured.

Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, who chaired the UF steering committee, made it clear that he had never aspired for the Presidency and that he was not a candidate for the post.

Deve Gowda's clarification assumes significance in the wake of the Karnataka cabinet's resolution sponsoring his name for the President's post last week.

The UF discussions veered mainly around the Presidential nominee. The Front will discuss its candidate for the vice-presidency only after the election for that post is notified.

'How can we even think of a brahmin as President?'
'The Constitution did not envisage the President to be a puppet'
'Narayanan should be made President'

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