NDTV Correspondent | Updated: June 16, 2012 08:41 IST
Pranab Mukherjee declared the UPA candidate for President at meeting of Congress and allies at PM's home. Sonia Gandhi, wearing a bright green sari, announced his nomination. "The UPA appeals to all political parties, MPs and members of state legislative assemblies to support the candidature of Pranab Mukherjee for office of President," she said.
Congress trying to get Pranab elected unopposed. Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati have committed support. PM phones leaders of all major parties. Left says it will get back to the UPA.
Mamata's war with Congress over Presidential candidate continues. She did not attend UPA meeting today. Pranab described her as "younger sister," appealed to her to support him. Other UPA allies like Sharad Pawar's NCP and DMK also ask Mamata to return to the fold.
Mamata said again this evening that she will back only Dr Kalam. She is isolated now because Mulayam has betrayed her. Till this morning, she said that like her, he was committed to Mr Kalam for president.
After rejecting Mr Mukherjee with Mamata three days ago, Mulayam today showers him with praise, describes him as capable and intelligent.
BJP may consider supporting Pranab, particularly since Dr APJ Kalam does not want to run against him. BJP may ask for its own person as vice-president in exchange for supporting UPA candidate.
Congress has to now find new Finance Minister and Leader of the House to replace Mr Mukherjee. PM may keep Finance portfolio, say sources.
Sonia Gandhi being asked by some in UPA to become the parliamentary leader even though she is not a minister.
Sources say Pranab will quit the Finance Ministry on June 24, after the PM returns from the G-20 summit in Mexico.
Election for President of India is on July 19.
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