Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mamata Banerjee today proposed the names of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, current Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee as candidates for President stunning the Congress party.
Pranab Mukherjee, whose name was proposed along with Hamid Ansari by Sonia Gandhi just an hour ago, were dropped by the two powerful allies. Even as Mulayam announced the names in a joint Press conference, Mamata also endorsed the three names.
Earlier, in a a blow to Pranab Mukherjee’s aspiration to become the President, the West Bengal Chief Minister did not make any commitment to the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in their hour-long meeting at 10 Janpath.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Mamata claimed Sonia presented two names before her – Pranab as first choice and vice president Hamid Ansari. Mamata added that she would now consult the Samajwadi Party(SP) president Mulayam Singh Yadav and her party colleagues before making a decision and drove straight to the SP chief’s residence
This also for the first time that Congress party has proposed Pranab Mukherjee’s name for the presidential race officially. Mamata drove straight to Mulayam’s residence for further discussion.