New Delhi, India
In the clearest indication yet that he is game for becoming the President, senior Congress leader and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said one cannot become President just by wishing.
You can’t become President just because you want to, Mukherjee was reported as saying when asked about his presidential candidature.
Congress party will decide who will be the presidential candidate, the minister added.
On Friday, Mukherjee's name as the UPA candidate for the President's post appeared to be gathering further momentum.
UPA sources said Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who has been authorised by the party's Working Committee to pick the candidate, is likely to make the announcement around June 15, probably a couple of days after the expected poll notification by the Election Commission.
Significantly, Sonia Gandhi's political advisor Ahmed Patel had a meeting with Mukherjee at his North Block office.
Sources said the Congress has already secured the support of key allies like DMK, NCP and RLD, who form part of the government, and outside supporters like Samajwadi Party.
BSP, another outside supporter, and UPA's second largest constituent Trinamool Congress, are not expected to oppose the UPA candidate.
Sources said though Mamata Banerjee had taken the name Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and a couple of others as her favourite, her party is expected to toe the UPA line once Mukherjee's name is announced, the logic being that TMC cannot be expected to oppose a candidate from Bengal for the top post.
By Zeenews Bureau, June 9, 2012