The UPA leadership will take into consideration its allies’ views in selecting the candidate for the post of President, who must carry the conviction and support of as many political parties as possible, Law Minister Salman Khurshid said on Sunday.
“We are in the process. You will get a very good candidate. Our senior leadership is looking at the names and the leadership is in touch with all alliance partners,” Mr. Khurshid told reporters.
“I am sure we will have an outstanding candidate. Because the President of India must be a person who carries the conviction and support of as many political parties as possible. We hope to present such a candidate to the country,” the Minister said.
The Congress last week had authorised party president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to pick the presidential candidate even as the name of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is gathering momentum.
The BJP-led NA is keeping its cards close to its chest on its stand, while former Lok Sabha Speaker P.A. Sangma, who has been named by AIADMK and BJD as their candidate, had met party leader L.K. Advani last week to seek NDA’s support.
Mr. Khurshid termed as “absolutely absurd” the BJP’s demand for Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s resignation in the wake of the High Court order of Thursday last declining to dismiss a petition challenging his election to the Lok Sabha in 2009.
“I think it is an absolutely absurd demand that they make every week, every day that Chidambaram should resign. I believe Chidambaram, for the BJP looks like, such a pillar of strength for the UPA, they think the only way they can hurt UPA is by asking him to resign,” he said.