New Delhi, Apr 4: Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid on Friday said the Congress Party and the UPA have still not decided on their presidential candidate, and asked everybody to have patience on the issue, as suggested by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
“My leadership will take this decision. They are in consultation with everybody that they need to consult with. They are consulting with other parties, the allies. And Congress President said ‘let’s have patience’, we all have patience, let’s just wait,” said Khurshid, when asked about his party’s choice for the president.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who met West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee here on Thursday, said there is still time to decide on the UPA’s candidate for President of India.
When asked to comment on Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury’s statement that Pranab Mukherjee is a valuable person for the party, Khurshid said: “Party’s spokesperson has said something, that must be given importance. But I think she has after that also given some further clarifications. I don’t think there is a final view known to anybody yet at this (point of) time.”
“As the Congress President said ‘please have patience’, let’s go by that. Very soon, I am sure we would all get to know,” he added.
Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury earlier said it would never be easy for the party to leave Pranab Mukherjee.
“So, well in a way if his name is doing the rounds, I have no authority to say that his name is also being discussed. If his candidature is being talked about, then he is very respected and valued guide for us. I want to see him in many posts. I am personally a big fan of him,” she said.
Renuka Chowdhury, however, clarified her remarks later, saying she had been completely misunderstood and decisions about presidential candidature are not taken at her level.
There have been certain rumours that the Congress has been trying to reach out to ally partners to have a consensus on Vice President Hamid Ansari or Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for the prestigious post.
Current incumbent Pratibha Devisingh Patil’s term ends on July 25 this year. She was sworn-in as the 12th president of India on July 25, 2007.
The president is the constitutional head of the country and also the supreme commander of the armed forces. (ANI)