NDTV Correspondent | Updated: June 13, 2012 00:20 IST
Sources in the UPA say the Congress may wait till June 24 - which is when the PM returns from the G20 summit in Mexico - to announce the candidate for President.
The UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has invited key ally Mamata Banerjee to Delhi for talks on today. Mrs Gandhi will decide the UPA's candidate. The frontrunner among the UPA is Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee who has cancelled a scheduled trip to Afghanistan. His office says his focus on the economy has kept Mr Mukherjee in Delhi
"Discussions are on. (I) will meet Sonia Gandhi tomorrow. (I) will meet Mulayamji again tomorrow," Ms Banerjee said after meeting Samajwadi Party's Mulayam Singh Yadav after her arrival in Delhi today.
Ms Banerjee has reportedly conveyed to the Congress that she will not oppose Mr Mukherjee because she will "be happy to see a Bengali" in the position.
However, she wants the Congress to announce him as its candidate before she commits her support.Ms Banerjee denied reports that she will use the presidential poll to further push her demand for a three-year waiver on 22,000 crores owed by her state to the centre against loans.
Nitish Kumar's party, the JD (U), has said it prefers Vice President Hamid Ansari. The JD(U) is an important member of the NDA, the coalition led by the BJP. While the BJP is yet to announce its party line, sources say it may be willing to back Mr Mukherjee.
It's not just the post of president that's up for grabs. Jaswant Singh of the BJP, according to sources, is hoping to be made Vice-President.
Jaswant Singh met Mulayam Singh Yadav to ask for his support on Tuesday morning. But Mr Yadav has allegedly refused to back a BJP candidate.
The BJP reportedly may be open to supporting the UPA candidate for president in exchange for Mr Singh being accepted as the Vice-President.
Mr Yadav, Sharad Pawar and the DMK, all key allies of the Congress in the UPA coalition, have allegedly pledged -directly or indirectly, in Mr Pawar's case -to back Mr Mukherjee. So the only Congress ally who has yet to come on board is Ms Banerjee.
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