Cong sets date for prez nominee

Despite the fact that the day of the presidential election is fast approaching, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has chosen to keep its cards close to its chest. But now Millennium Post has learnt that the party president Sonia Gandhi is all set to announce the UPA's presidential candidate. She has decided on 15 June as the date of announcement.

Sources in the party say that the finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's name tops the chart of probable candidates. Mukherjee has been actively pursuing the matter with Gandhi. In fact, he has clearly expressed a desire to the Congress president in the last couple of day that he be relieved of the finance ministry and moved to the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Sources say that Gandhi still thinks that Mukherjee is very important for the government and should retain his position in the cabinet. But, after much persuasion from Mukherjee, she is again considering his name, added the source.

Sources have also clearly indicated that Meira Kumar's name is undoubtedly excluded from this list.

Gandhi has been meeting allies continuously to take a final call on the candidate's name. On Thursday, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader M K Stalin met the Congress top brass – Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Gandhi – pushing them to speed up the process for the presidential election in the ruling camp. This meet happened two days after the Rashtriya Lok Dal chief and civil aviation minister Ajit Singh met Gandhi to discuss this issue.

Mukherjee had passed a resolution during the Congress Working Committee on Monday authorising Gandhi to decide the candidates for the president and vice president's posts.
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