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Updated: May 6, 2012 19:19 IST

On Presidential question, Mukherjee himself ‘in the dark’

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THE CONTENDER: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The HIndu
THE CONTENDER: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

With Congress playing its cards close to its chest, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, widely regarded as a front-runner for the Presidential candidate, today said he was “in the dark” over the issue while the Left parties said they would back a candidate with “wider acceptance.”

“We are delighted that your name was proposed for Indian Presidency? What’s your comment?” asked a scribe during an interaction with senior editors here.

Mr. Mukherjee laughed at the suggestion, before saying that he himself was “in the dark” on the question.

“I am afraid I do not know. In our system of decision-making, unless a decision is taken nobody discloses it officially. So, I am in the dark as you are,” replied Mr. Mukherjee, who is often called the UPA government’s “trouble shooter”.

Mr. Mukherjee, 76, who is on a two—day tour of Bangladesh to join the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore, gave no indication on what is going on in the back channel deliberations in the Congress and the UPA.

His comments came days after he called the stories around his candidature “speculative” while Congress President Sonia Gandhi had asked the media to be patient as there was still time for the Presidential polls in July.

Earlier, while on his way to Manila where he attended the 45th Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank’s Board of Governors, Mr. Mukherjee had dismissed these reports as speculation. “It is speculative. I don’t want to comment on it,” he had said.

The past week has witnessed intense speculation in India over who would occupy the Rashtrapati Bhawan next, with Mr. Mukherjee and the current Vice President Hamid Ansari being touted as the main contenders.

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Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister and Pranab Mukherjee as his mentor in Rashtrapati Bhavan seem to be the dimensions of the working plan to perpetuate the family rule. Sonia Gandhi seems to have planned everything meticulously. Whither Indian democracy?

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: May 7, 2012 at 17:04 IST

If he is elected he will act on behalf of Sonia.It will be a disaster for Bharath.

from:  Nair
Posted on: May 7, 2012 at 06:50 IST

It would be naive to expect Pranab to be more specific or informative since he himself is a candidate and the election is still fluid.

from:  Rekha Vinjamuri
Posted on: May 6, 2012 at 22:51 IST

Pranab has the capability to be the PM, he is nominated to be President. Rahul can't control the youth congress, he is nominated to be next PM. Sachin could not captain 11 players, he is nominated for Rajya Sabha. Hail Congress Party.

from:  RK Singh
Posted on: May 6, 2012 at 21:28 IST

In my opinion Mr.Mukherjee should be offered the post of The Prime Minister.He is the right choice and most capable person of congress party. The whole UPA,NDA and other political parties should come forward forgetting their differences and try to reach to this conclusion for betterment of the country and good governance to elect Mr. Mukherjee as the successor of Mr. Manmohan singh. We can get better candidates for the post of the President but in the present scenario we cannot get better man than Mr.Mukherjee as PM.

from:  santosh kumar khanna
Posted on: May 6, 2012 at 21:11 IST

I fail to understand how Mr. Pranab Mukherjee who is an active politician & troubleshooter for Congress party will be able to do justice to the impartial role of President of India who should be able to have the courage & spine to send back bills for redeliberation to parliament. I fail to understand how Mr. Manmohan Singh who is currently his boss will be reporting to him post July. To me, it looks like a reward being thrown at him for ruling party's troubleshooter & as retirement benefit, nothing else. Can't India make a better choice? (my own suggestion E. Sridharan, metro man).

from:  Debashish Sarkar
Posted on: May 6, 2012 at 20:48 IST
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