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Congress gives three names to Karunanidhi

J. Venkatesan

They're Patil, Shinde and Karan Singh: sources

DMK chief meets Manmohan, Sonia Gandhi in Delhi Candidate yet to be finalised, he says

New Delhi: The Congress has suggested to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK chief M. Karunanidhi three names for President.

Mr. Karunanidhi disclosed this to presspersons after a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his residence here on Wednesday night.

(Sources in the United Progressive Alliance said that Ms. Gandhi suggested to the allies the names of Shivraj Patil, Sushil Kumar Shinde and Karan Singh. During the meeting with Mr. Karunanidhi also, she mentioned these names, they added.)

Congress seeks support

Asked about the discussions, Mr. Karunanidhi said the candidate was yet to be finalised. "We discussed two or three names. The Congress sought support only for its candidate and not for any particular person." Asked to give the names, he said, "I can't reveal these names now."

To another question whether any consensus was reached, he said, "I can't comment on this at present."

Karunanidhi to stay in Delhi for two days

Asked whether his party would support Mr. Patil if he was the Congress choice, Mr. Karunanidhi said, "I can't say anything now. I will be in Delhi on Thursday and Friday and the candidate will be finalised during my stay here."

Asked about the reported differences between the Congress and the Left parties on the choice of the candidate, he said, "I don't think there is any such difference."

To a query whether he would mediate between the Left and the Congress to resolve differences, if any, he said, "That is what I am doing now."

To meet Left leaders

Earlier, on arrival at the airport, Mr. Karunanidhi was given a warm reception by DMK Ministers, members of Parliament and others. To a question on the presidential nominee, he merely said, "We want a strong candidate."

From the airport, he drove straight to Dr. Singh's residence. On Thursday, Mr. Karunanidhi will meet Left leaders.

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