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Congress top brass meets, presidential nominee likely next week

Friday June 08, 2012 09:12:34 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: Amid indications that Congress could declare its presidential candidate next week, the party's top leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and chief Sonia Gandhi met here Friday to discuss issues concerning the government.

Congress sources said that the party could declare its presidential candidate by the middle of next week.

"Announcement of the presidential candidate could be made around June 15," said a Congress leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

According to the sources, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's name continues to be among those in contention though he had moved the resolution at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting authorising Gandhi to select the party's candidates for the post of president and vice president.

Name of Vice President Hamid Ansari is also doing the rounds as a possible Congress candidate.

Party sources said a dark horse could also emerge as the party's choice.

The Election Commission is also expected to come out with notification for presidential election next week.

The Congress has stepped up the process of consultations with allies on the presidential polls. DMK leaders M.K. Stalin and T.R. Baalu had met the prime minister and the Congress president Thursday. The meeting came two days after Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh met Gandhi.

The core committee meeting was held against the backdrop of government decision to challenge Andhra Pradesh High Court order that annulled the central government's decision to provide 4.5 percent quota to backward minorities out of the 27 percent reservation for Other Backward Classes.

It also came a day after the cabinet deferred a decision on the crucial pension bill after objections from ally Trinamool Congress.








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