It is a crucial day ahead as the UPA will meet on Friday for deciding on its Presidential nominee. According to reports, Congress will endorse the name of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee as presidential candidate.
The UPA is meeting on Friday at 4pm. Before the cruicial meet finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is supposed to meet PM Manmohan Singh at 12 noon.
In a reportedly new development, Congress has claimed Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh has assured their support. Samajwadi Party leaders Ram Gopal and Naresh Agarwal met party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday to discuss the Presidential candidate.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee will skip the meet.
"I am not here (tomorrow Friday) as I had said that I will wait for 26 hours and I am returning after meeting (Samajwadi Party chief)Mulayam Singh (Yadav)," she told reporters on Thursday ahead of the meeting with Samajwadi Party leader.
The party's core group headed by Sonia Gandhi met at the residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday and is believed to have decided to put forward Pranab Mukherjee's name at the meeting of UPA on Friday.
"No dark horse" is under consideration in Congress-UPA camp, remarked a top source.
Sources said that Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Narayanasamy also had a meeting with Mukherjee last night. AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh too called on Mukherjee.
The party sources further said the reaction of Congress on Wednesday's announcement of Mamata and Mulayam was made after a "considered view" as it did not want to make an off-the-cuff remark because Banerjee is part of UPA.