New Delhi: There is still no clarity on who is in the running for the President's post. Though, at this point Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is emerging as the front-runner. Pranab, of course, still denies being in the know while the Congress is set to meet to finalise their choice for the post.
Most political parties made it clear that the next President will have to be the one based on consensus. But the man over whom consensus seems to have developed prefers not to play along. Sources say Pranab has made it clear to top leadership that he wants to be elevated but with UPA II being a rocky boat, can Pranab be spared?
Pranab is sure to be backed by the Left parties but for now its waiting for the Congress to draw up a list.
Sources say the first step will be taken by the Congress this week but its aware of the problems ahead. West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee may not agree without an interest wave off. Bihar Chief Mnister Nitish Kumar and Odisha Chief Mnister Naveen Patnaik are not too keen on a Congress person in Raisina hill.
For the Congress, striking a balance will prove to be a challenging task but like last time it may offer a surprise and even split the opposition like it did compel Shiv Sena to wait for UPA's choice of a Maharashtrian Pratibha Patil as President.