Will Pranab Mukherjee be addressing the next session of Parliament as the constitutional head of the nation or will he still be the Finance Minister?
While he may be noncommittal in public on his possible nomination for the post, Mukherjee has reportedly cancelled his trip to Kabul scheduled on 14 June to remain in the country.
With the Congress party following the traditional path of deferring the decision on the presidential candidate to party president Sonia Gandhi, an Indian Express report indicated that she is expected to reveal her decision by this week and Mukherjee did not want to be out of the country at the time.
CNN IBN reported that it was likely that Mukherjee could be handed the post and the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh could take additional charge of the Finance Ministry. As Firstpost has pointed out, some like minister Jairam Ramesh have been expounding their knowledge of the national economy perhaps in hope of filling the void left by Mukherjee’s departure. Home Minister P Chidambaram would also not be too upset to return to his former ministry.
While Hamid Ansari was also said to be one of the candidates for the post of President, he might need to start getting ready to leave the Vice President’s residence with senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh said to be in the running for his post.
CNN IBN reported that Singh met with Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh today and has the support of senior BJP leaders to become the next Vice President.
The BJP will reportedly extend support to the candidate suggested by the UPA in exchange for Singh being nominated as Vice President, the channel reported. However, there was no word from the BJP on the issue.