Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee expressed ignorance on his candidature for the President’s post in Dhaka on Sunday.
Mukherjee and vice-president Hamid Ansari are being mentioned as the main contenders for the high office.
Major UPA allies — the Nationalist Congress Party and the DMK — have backed Mukherjee’s candidature while the Trinamool Congress has remained non-committal, saying the Congress was yet to announce its candidate.
In his first reaction to his candidature, Mukherjee told reporters in Dhaka that he himself was “in the dark” on the matter. Till Sunday, Mukherjee had only asked the media not to speculate on his candidature.
“I am afraid I do not know. In our system of decision-making, unless a decision is taken, nobody discloses it officially. So, I am in the dark as you (media) are," said the 76-year-old Congress veteran.
Mukherjee’s statement came amid discussions between various political parties over the past week on the presidential election. The CPI(M) asked the Congress to declare its candidate before trying to build a consensus. “We will announce our decision only after the Congress announces its candidate,” a party leader said.