The Election Commission is likely to announce the schedule for presidential polls later on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Congress has begun its lobbying for the candidate to the top post. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is believed to be the front-runner, has cancelled his proposed visit to Afghanistan on June 14.
Significantly, Mukherjee’s decision to cancel his visit to Kabul comes after his meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi late on Monday night. The ruling UPA is likely to make an announcement for the presidential nominee by June 15.
The cancellation of Kabul trip was seen as a strong indication of Congress high command’s inclination towards clearing his name for the race to Raisina Hill.
The Congress which in its CWC had authorised the party high command, Sonia Gandhi, is making last-minute efforts to ensure consensus on the nominee for the top post. The party leaders from West Bengal have already met Mamata Banerjee on Sunday. But the latter has been non-committal stating that she will decide when the Congress puts forward a name.
However, Sonia Gandhi has reportedly spoken to Mamata Banerjee, who is arriving in New Delhi on Tuesday evening to meet the Congress chief on Wednesday.
The Congress seems to be in a hurry to announce the UPA candidate before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leaves for a tour of Brazil and Mexico on June 16. If the Congress fails to announce the name by then, it would have to wait till June 24 when the Prime Minister returns.
Among other UPA allies, the Samajwadi Party, whose support would be crucial for election of the next President, has so far kept his cards close his chest. The SP chief, Mulayam Singh, on Monday said that his party will come out with its stand after candidates are officially announced.
When asked he would support Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for the top post, he said nobody has contacted him neither has he contacted anybody on the issue.
Earlier, DMK leaders TR Baalu and MK Stalin said they will extend support to Mukherjee’s candidature. The Nationalist Congress Party has also stated that it will “strongly stand by the government” over its choice of the candidate for top post.
Although the CPI(M) had extended support to the Congress nominee in the past made it clear on Monday that it was not bound to support the ruling coalition candidate.
CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said, “We are not bound, we are not part of the alliance of the Congress and the UPA that we have to support anybody they propose.”