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HT Poll: Twist in Presidential race

The TMC and the SP pulled a surprise and shocked many on Wednesday by naming the Prime Minister among one of their chosen Presidential candidates, while HT readers gave their vote for their preferred candidate for the top spot.

delhi Updated: Jun 14, 2012 02:14 IST
president2012,pranab mukherjee,hamid ansari

The Trinamool Congress and the Samjawadi Party pulled a surprise and shocked many on Wednesday by naming the Prime Minister among one of their chosen Presidential candidates.

In light of the new turn of events we at Hindustan Times conducted an online poll asking our readers who they thought was ideal for the country's top job and almost three-fourths of those who took the poll voted for a second term for former president APJ Addul Kalam.

The No. 2 spot for the Presidential candidate was given to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee by our readers with 10.66% of them selecting him as their choice.

Only 8.26% of respondents backed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while former Lok Sabha Speaker was close behind with 6.46% of the votes.

Hamid Ansari was at the bottom of the table with only 2.4% of voters choosing him for the top spot.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Presidential race took a dramatic twist after TMC head Mamata Banerjee and SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav disclosed the names of Manmohan Singh, former president APJ Abdul Kalam and former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee as their preferred candidates.

Mamata also revealed after a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi thatPranab Mukherjee is the UPA's first choice for the head of state.

Politcal parties react to 'PM for Prez'
A shocked Congress after Mamata mentioned Manmohan's name for the President said it was for a consensus on the Presidential candidate and indicated that it will reach out to more parties to muster the required numbers.

Party general secretary Digvijay Singh said, "Mamataji is UPA's partner. We are discussing with everyone and after a consensus, we will decided on a name."

BJP has decided to play safe for the moment and has adopted a wait-and-watch approach till Congress finalises its name for the post.

"We discussed the Presidential poll at the BJP core group meeting. We analysed whatever discussions for the Presidential poll were held between UPA allies today. We discussed and thought over the names floated by both the parties supporting UPA. Congress should come out with its view first... We will discuss this in NDA meeting and then come out with our view," Ananth Kumar, convener of BJP Parliamentary party said after the party's core group, which met under the chairmanship of BJP president Nitin Gadkari.

DMK chief M Karunanidhi, whose party is a key UPA constituent, on Wednesday declined to comment on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's name being proposed for the top post.

He said he would propose a name after the present confusion ended and he was not sure about how things will change in the context of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's name doing the rounds.

Kalam, who was NDA's choice for the President's post in 2002, was also favoured initially by BJP for the top post this time around. NDA had also unsuccessully pushed for his candidature for a second term in 2007.

Kalam, however, has maintained he would agree to enter the fray only if there is consensus on his name.

Related stories:

Country needs a President like Pranab Mukherjee: Maneka

Presidential poll on July 19, process gains momentum

'No one can become Prez without party backing'

Who'll be finance minister if Pranab becomes President?

The poll results were calculated at 11: 00 pm on June 13. The poll is still open, please vote for your preferred candidate.


First Published: Jun 14, 2012 00:12 IST