Friday, June 15, 2012

UPA names Pranab Mukherjee, NDA not keen on a contest

New Delhi: 6.15 pm: Sources say that the NDA is not keen on contest after the announcement of Pranab Mukherjee as the presidential candidate of the UPA. A decision in this regard is likely to be announced only after the NDA meets in a day or two.
6.12 pm: Pranab Mukherjee says he is deeply honoured to be nominated for the Presidential poll, thanks Sonia Gandhi. The veteran Congress leader says they have requested all the political parties for their support, expressing confidence in his party members and leaders of other parties.
5.51 pm: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaks to AB Bardhan, Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley.
5.49 pm: JDU president Sharad Yadav says the NDA will call a meeting and decide upon the candidate.
5.38 pm: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati announces her support for Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
5.35 pm: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav backs Pranab as the Presidential candidate, reiterating he always said he would go with the choice of Sonia Gandhi.
5.30 pm: The Bharatiya Janata Party says though it was not consulted by the UPA before declaring its candidate, it will meet its allies and decide on supporting Pranab Mukherjee, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reaches out to Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.

5.25 pm: The Left congratulates Pranab, but says its stand will be decided during their meeting. Brinda Karat says, "We congratulate Pranab Mukherjee for the nomination but we shall decide our stand post meeting."
5:20 pm: Less than an hour after the UPA declared Pranab Mukherjee as its official candidate, the Samajwadi Party announced its support for his candidature in the Presidential poll.
5:18 PM: TMC is not going to change its stand on Pranab: Kunal Ghosh.
5:05 pm: Former president APJ Abdul Kalam may not contest against Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. A final announcement on this is likely on Saturday.
5:01 PM: UPA appeals to all political parties and members of State Legislature Assembly to support Pranab Mukherjee as the President of India: Sonia Gandhi. This is the first time that the Congress has stood up to Mamata Banerjee's arm-twisting and taken a firm stand on an issue
4:56 PM UPA statement: Pranab has a long and distinguished record, broad support for his candidature. UPA appeals to all political parties to support for Pranab.
4:47 PM: All UPA leaders at the meet endorse Pranab's candidature.
4:47 PM: Sonia Gandhi announces Pranab Mukherjee as UPA nominee for President poll.
4 pm: Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee reach Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence to attend the UPA meet.
2:56 PM: NDA meet indecisive due to differences over supporting APJ Abdul Kalam. Janata Dal (United) Sharad Yadav objected to supporting Kalam. Sources say there is no unanimity within the JD(U) on whether Kalam should be supported or not.
2:55 PM: Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar meets Kalam in Patna.
2:08 PM: As clamour grows for Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's candidature for the President's post, sources say the UPA will reach out to all the parties, including the NDA, seeking support for Pranab. Sources also indicate that NDA may not be opposed to Pranab's candidature.
Sources also say that Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav will clarify his stand on Pranab soon. The UPA will meet at 4 pm on Friday and sources say that it is set to announce Pranab as its Presidential candidates. Sources say the NDA will meet again after the UPA's announcement.
According to sources, Pranab may resign as the Finance Minister on June 24 after filing his nomination for the President's post and the Prime minister is likely to take over the Finance portfolio. Sources also say that P Chidambaram or Sushil Shinde may replace Pranab as the Leader of the Lok Sabha.
Meanwhile, Left leader and former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee also said that he discussed the Presidential poll with Pranab on Thursday and will take a decision after a meeting. "The Left parties will sit for a meeting in Delhi, let's see what happens," he said.

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