New Delhi: For the first time in the recent weeks, an official word has come from the Congress on party troubleshooter Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's nomination in the presidential race. Senior party leader Renuka Chowdhury on Thursday said that Pranab remains indispensable to the government.
Chowdhary said, "He's such an active mind. We need him. I want to see him in many posts. Cannot imagine this government without Pranab."
CPI(M) Politburo member and Rajya Sabha MP Sitaram Yechury said the party would try for a consensus on the next President. "It would be better if decision is united. The Left is meeting on Friday. The point is on whom will the consensus be build."
However, Pranab dismissed the guessing game saying, "Don't indulge in speculation."
Meanwhile, there seems to be growing consensus over Vice President Hamid Ansari as the President. The JD(U) is indicating that it may not oppose his candidature.
Shivanand Tiwari said, "Both Pranab Mukherjee and Hamid Ansari are good. Pranab is most experienced leader of the country and Ansari is India's Vice President. There is a tradition of elevating the Vice President as the President of the country."
JD(U)'s position is in stark contrast to to its ally the BJP's stand. BJP leader Sushma Swaraj had said that the BJP would go in for contest and not back any Congress nominee. JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav had disagreed with Sushma Swaraj's comment that Hamid Ansari did not have the stature to become the President.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh said, "President should be a political person."