To speed up the consultation process with allies on the presidential poll, Congress president Sonia Gandhi is all set to send defence minister AK Antony to Chennai for consultations with DMK chief M Karunanidhi.
The move comes after Gandhi held a meeting with another key alliance leader, NCP president Sharad Pawar, at her residence on Wednesday. Neither the Congress nor the UPA can elect its own candidate for the president's post, and would have to depend on outside support.
Congress sources hinted that Antony may visit Chennai soon to meet Karunanidhi.
The choice of Antony as the emissary is significant because he is seen as a probable Congress candidate for the presidential poll.
So far, the DMK has been silent on its choice for the presidential candidate. The party has nearly 22,000 votes in the poll.
Meanwhile, even as Pawar is believed to have reiterated the need for consensus on a candidate, the Left parties have gone a step further - calling for a "national consensus" for electing the next President. "It (the election) cannot be an affair of one or two major parties. The next President should be a person of national consensus. Given the current challenges facing the nation, the post should be filled up on the basis of consensus in the broadest possible spectrum."
Top sources in the Left - a major force in the non-UPA, non-NDA camp - claimed that no formal discussions have been held with regard to the presidential polls until now.