Mamata Banerjee has arrived in Delhi with a clear agenda - she will support Pranab Mukherjee for President, but not before the Congress declares he is the official candidate for the UPA. The Congress doesn't appear ready for that just yet, despite the urging of its allies.
That could be because it's still ascertaining whether Mr Mukherjee is a better choice than Vice-President Hamid Ansari. Nitish Kumar's party, the JD (U), has said it prefers Mr 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. BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and LK Advani have been assigned to coordinate the party's efforts.
The BJP's Jaswant Singh wants to run for Vice-President and met Mr Yadav to ask for his support this morning. But Mr Yadav has allegedly refused to back a BJP candidate.
Mrs Gandhi has been authorised by her party to choose its candidate for President - the election is scheduled for July 19, and counting, if required, will be held on July 22. Sources in the UPA say that the Congress may wait till the Prime Minister returns from the G-20 summit in Mexico on June 24 before announcing its nomination.
By conveying her stand to the Congress, Ms Banerjee has efficiently lobbed the ball right back into her political partner's court before she meets its President Sonia Gandhi tomorrow.
The West Bengal Chief Minister reportedly does not want to be accused of blocking a Bengali's path to Rashtrapati Bhawan. She has also denied that her support for the candidate shortlisted by the Congress will depend largely on whether the Centre agrees to waive for three years the Rs 22,000 crores Bengal owes as interest on loans.
Mr Mukherjee, who is Finance Minister, has cancelled a trip to Afghanistan. His office says he wants to remain in Delhi to monitor the economic slowdown. But in political circles, Mr Mukherjee's presence is being read as a sign that he is on stand-by for the Presidential nomination. (Will Pranab Mukherjee make a good President? Vote here)
Mulayam Singh 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.
A more cynical view in political corridors is that for Ms Banerjee, a major advantage of Mr Mukherjee's elevation to President of India is that he would no longer be in government. Their relationship has not been entirely smooth of late.
Ms Banerjee, who has arrived in Delhi this evening, met Mr Yadav today. As the heads of regional parties who scored huge in the last elections in their states, they will have a huge say in who becomes President. The election places at par the votes of all MPs with those of all elected members of state legislatures - so regional parties count for a lot.