June 14, 2012
APJ Abdul Klam is the Presidential candidate for Trinamool – Mamata Banerjee
New Delhi and politics have a strong connection being the capital city and when it comes to political events, as the capital is experiencing a huge political hustle and bustle over the series of meetings and counter meetings to discuss the candidature names in the run-up to presidential elections scheduled on July 19. Security is beefed up in and around the Lutyens' Zone to enable easy and smooth movement of VIP and VVIP cavalcades.
Trinamool Congress Chairperson and West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee who reached New Delhi on Tuesday evening had a series of meeting with various political leaders within and outside her party before finally meeting United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Ms. Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday. The meeting which was aimed to discuss the final candidature for the presidential elections lasted for nearly half-an-hour.
We had detailed discussions on the issue. Soniaji told me she had discussions with allies and that her first choice was Pranab Mukherjee and second Hamid Ansari. I told her that at this point in time, I cannot say anything. We need to discuss with Mulayam Singhji and within my own party, said Ms. Banerjee. Immediately, after the briefing Ms. Banerjee left for 12, Akbar Road, official residence of Samajwadi Party Chairperson Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav. I am going to Mulayam Singhji's residence and will be able to say something only after discussing the issue with him. I will again talk to you shortly, were the words of the Trinamool Congress Chairperson.
The meeting lasted for over half-an-hour and both Ms. Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party Chairperson Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav came out in a relaxed mood. They both decided to address a joint-Press-conference. The Press conference was much as expected except the name of the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, a complete 'master-stroke' by the leader. This was a like throwing a political googly, turning down Congress's choices for President and suggesting that the party consider Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with former President Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam and ex-Speaker Mr. Somnath Chatterjee as candidates. This also brought an end to all the speculations on the names of Speaker Ms. Meira Kumar and Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Dr. Gopal Krishna Gandhi. Trinamool Congress sources confirmed the two leaders had been confabulating for some time to draw a shortlist which also included the names of the duo.
During this turmoil the Trinamool Congress is emerging as the most important alliance as all political leaders are trying to meet the Trinamool Congress Chairperson in a huff. However, of the two other names on the list of Mamata – Mulayam duo, former President Dr. Kalam happens due to his anti-Congress affiliation in the past do not come as the most obvious choice in the Congress. Refuting all allegation of breaching the trust, the members in the Trinamool Congress party said that their leader had not done anything to breach the confidence by disclosing the names of Mr. Mukherjee and Dr. Ansari as it was discussed with the UPA Chairperson and was done with the “consent” and “permission” of the Congress Chairperson. The name of Somnath Chatterjee yet another veteran politician in contrast, happens to be more acceptable. He earned the goodwill of Congress by his non-partisan handling of Lok Sabha during the tumult over the nuclear deal, which led to his expulsion from the CPM.
However, during the day-long hustle and bustle in the capital over the candidature in the run up to presidential polls, Trinamool Congress party and its leader Ms. Mamata Banerjee emerged as most powerful figure and representatives of all the political parties were beating the bush to meet her to discuss the candidature issue. There is a meeting of the UPA scheduled on Friday morning when one may expect a possibility of a break through as the name may be finalized.
The polling is scheduled on July 19 and all the nominations are to filled and deposited before June 30.