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Sonia to talk to Oppn on Prez poll after budget session

Source: PTI
May 15, 2012 21:04 IST
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A decision on the presidential candidate is unlikely before June 10 as the process of consultations is likely to gain momentum only after the conclusion of the budget session of Parliament on May 22.

Congress sources said the process of consultations initiated by party chief and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi was a three-stage affair.

After the first round of talks with UPA allies and supporting parties, Gandhi is expected to talk to opposition parties to understand their position on the presidential and the vice presidential polls.

After a tentative decision is taken, she would again meet the allies and the supporting parties seeking to enlist their support, individually and collectively.

The consultations with SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP Supremo Mayawati will be held any day after the budget session comes to an end on May 22.

The talk is that while Pranab Mukherjee's name is prominently doing the rounds, Congress is in no hurry to make up its mind on the Presidential candidate. The issue is still open and about half a dozen leaders could be considered for the top post, the sources said.

Names of Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari are being talked about with other parties already having indicated their preferences for one or the other.

Gandhi is expected to consult parties, which have one member each in Parliament and support Congress-led UPA in a couple of days, to elicit their opinion.

Congress is chanting the consensus mantra for the presidential election in view of the fact that it was short of numbers in the Electoral College if the entire UPA plus some outside supporters do not unitedly put up a candidate.

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