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Prez poll: BJP's Maneka Gandhi backs Pranab

June 18, 2012 23:03 IST
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Maneka Gandhi, who met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on Monday, described him as an excellent candidate for the coveted post of President of India.

Gandhi said the election of the President should be by consensus.

"Pranab Mukherjee is an excellent candidate. Whoever is the candidate should be by consensus," she told the media after a meeting with Mukherjee.

Gandhi had earlier on June 12 said the country needed a seasoned politician like Pranab Mukherjee as president.

"He is a seasoned politician. I know him for the past 30 years. We need such a president, who will work," she had said.

The BJP is yet to take a decision on the presidential candidate. Moreover, former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam''s decision not to contest the presidential poll has now imposed more pressure on the BJP, as they will now either have to back former Lok Sabha speaker and Nationalist Congress Party leader P A Sangma or come out with a new name for the coveted post after holding due consultations.

The NDA during its nearly two-hour long meeting on Sunday failed to firm up a position on the presidential election, as it was divided over opposing Mukherjee and there was lack of clarity on extending support to Sangma.

The presidential elections will be held on July 19. The vote count will take place on July 22.


Pratibha Devisingh Patil's term as President ends on July 24.

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