After DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, it was the turn of Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday to push a political candidate for the post of President.
Yadav's statement that "the President should always be a political person" was also seen as a deviation from the SP's earlier stand of supporting only an eminent Muslim candidate.
The support of SP, with 6% votes in the presidential election, is crucial for the Congress to get its nominee elected.
The BJP's opposition to the names of Mukherjee and Ansari found no takers within the NDA as a key constituent JD(U) supported their candidature. “Both are good names. Mukherjee is the country's most experienced politician. If this name comes up, it is good. Ansari is the vice-president and it has been a tradition that the vice-president gets elevated to the post. Therefore, his case is also strong,” JD(U) leader Shivanand Tiwari said.
The CPM politburo will meet on May 6 to take a call on the presidential election as it weighs various options. "We have not discussed any names. We will decide it in politburo," party general secretary Prakash Karat told HT. While Ansari was the Left parties' choice for the vice-president's post, they also share a good equation with Mukherjee.
On her part, Congress president Sonia Gandhi also held discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mukherjee on the issue.
Gandhi later said there was no confusion over names for the post. "Be patient, still there is time," she told reporters.