New Delhi: The West Bengal Congress on Sunday reportedly appealed to Mamata Banerjee to consider Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's name for the post of President. The Congress has till now not revealed its Presidential nominee, with Janardan Dwivedi, Chairman of the party's media department, saying that no name had been finalised yet and Law Minister Salman Khurshid claiming that the UPA was looking to build maximum consensus among its allies in selecting its nominee.
"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," Khurshid told reporters in Chennai. "I am sure that not only we will have an outstanding candidate but also that the maximum amount of consensus (from UPA allies), that can be built around the candidate, will be done."
"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," he said.
The principal Opposition party BJP, meanwhile, said it would disclose its strategy on the Presidential elections only after the UPA announced its candidate.
Against the backdrop of growing support for Pranab to be the UPA nominee, his Presidential prospects echoed at the programmes organised by the Congress during his two-day visit to Murshidabad in West Bengal. The Jangipur constituency in the state is represented by him.
"We hope that he (Pranab) will be back here as the president of the country," influential Congress MP Arup Chowdhury told a Congress workers' meeting in Murshidabad presided by the Union Minister.
State Congress President Manas Bhunia said, "I appeal to the Centre to consider the name of Pranab Mukherjee for the post of President and also request the Trinamool Congress to support us in this."
Pranab, however, evaded the issue, saying, "I have to cut short my stay and leave for Delhi today evening as I have important meetings to attend there."
(With additional information from PTI)