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Name of PM candidate by Wednesday evening

May 19, 2004 11:25 IST
Last Updated: May 19, 2004 12:40 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday told Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet that her party is in discussions to choose the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party and that a consensus may emerge by Wednesday evening.

The leader of the CPP would be the Congress' candidate for the post of prime minister.

She called on Surjeet on Wednesday morning to thank the Left parties for their support to the Congress and in the efforts to form the government.

She indicated that the Congress-led front may be in a position to call on President A P J Abdul Kalam to stake claim to form the government today evening.

CPI-M spokesperson Sitaram Yechury, however, made it clear that she has not taken any names and all those floating around have been floated by mediapersons.

He said that the CPI-M would support a Common Minimum Programme not individuals.

Earlier upon her arrival, Yechury had told reporters, "It looks like senior Congress member Manmohan Singh would be the next prime minister."

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The Left parties do not have any objection to Manmohan Singh becoming the prime minister, he said.

Gandhi then called on Dravida Munnetra Kazhaghan leader M Karunanidhi chief M Karunanidhi and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Laloo Prasad Yadav as part of her efforts to get the backing of partners and allies for a new leader to head the Congress-led coalition. Senior party leader Kamal Nath was also present at the meeting.

After the meeting, party MP Dayanidhi Maran revealed that the DMK has agreed to join a Congress-led government at the Centre.

Earlier, Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh had met Surjeet to discuss the emerging political developments.

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