Pranab Da likely to be next President

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By Yakesh Tyagi
Date  16 June 2012

Pranab Da The 77-year-old vetran Congress leader, currently Finance Minister with 43 years of parliamentary experience, was named by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at a meeting of

the leaders of the Congress and the alliance partners, including DMK, RLD, NCP, NC and IUML.

Within minutes, SP, which had joined hands with TMC leader Mamata Banerjee to propose the name of APJ Abdul Kalam for the post, broke away and pledged support to

Mukherjee, leaving the West Bengal Chief Minister totally isolated.

This was followed by another major Uttar Pradesh party BSP, whose supremo Mayawati also extended her support, which will take Mukherjee close to the required vote

value of 5.49 lakh in an electoral college consisting of MPs and MLAs with a total vote value of 10.98 lakh.

Even counting out TMC, which has a vote value of 48,000, Mukherjee is short of just about 26,000 vote value which is expected to be made up by other parties that may include the Left.

Immediately after being chosen, Mukherjee expressed his gratitude to Sonia Gandhi and the other UPA leaders for the honour which he accepted with "all humility".

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh lost no time in reaching out to other parties including the BJP to seek support for Mukherjee. After speaking to SP supremo Mulayam Singh

Yadav and Mayawati, he called up BJP leaders in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley respectively.

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