Is Pranab leading the Presidential race?
Key UPA constituent Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party, which held discussions today on the issue appear to be not averse to Mukherjee's candidature if the Congress decides on it and evolves a broad consensus, sources in both the parties said.
However, the chances of Vice President Hamid Ansari becoming a UPA sponsored candidate are also not being ruled out completely given the fact that the running of the government is highly dependent on Mukherjee's utility as a troubleshooter, Congress sources said.
The final decision depends on the party leadership, which has to take the call whether to spare Mukherjee for the constitutional post. A senior leader said Mukherjee also stood a chance because the government has only two more years to go.
Mukherjee, himself, however dismissed as speculation reports that he has emerged as a front runner in the race for presidential election.
"It is speculative. I don't want to comment on it," he told reporters on way to Manila where he will be attending the 45th Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank's Board of Governors.