Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here on Saturday that it was for the Congress to decide on the nominee for the post of President.
“The party will decide. The party nominates. You cannot become President just because you want to,” Mr. Mukherjee told journalists outside his residence.
He said nominations were yet to be filed for the elections. “Nominations will be filed, when it will be done, you can see.”
While there are reports that the Congress high command is meeting the constituents of the United Progressive Alliance in New Delhi, the Trinamool Congress, the second largest party in the alliance, has so far not clearly stated its choice.
Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee had only on one occasion thrown some light on her choice.
Describing Mr. Mukherjee as the “son of the world” rather than the “son of Bengal,” Ms. Banerjee on May 21 suggested other choices like Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and the former West Bengal Governor, Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
However, a few Trinamool leaders claim that it will be politically unwise for Ms. Banerjee to oppose a candidate who hails from Bengal.
Meanwhile, on being asked about the possibility of the Congress going it alone in the panchayat elections in West Bengal, Mr. Mukherjee said: “There is nothing to comment. It will be decided by the Pradesh Congress.”