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Congress for consensus over confrontation on presidential poll

New Delhi(IANS): A day ahead of a United Progressive Alliance meeting on its nominee for the July 19 presidential poll, the Congress Thursday said it prefers consensus over confrontation and hopes it will be able to persuade the Mamata-Mulayam duo to come on board.

“We would prefer consensus over the issue than a confrontation,” said a senior Congress leader on condition of anonymity.

The largest constituent of the UPA has gone through tense moments since Wednesday afternoon after the newly-stitched combination of West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayan Singh Yadav rejected the Congress’ presidential nominees – Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari – and ssent political circles into a tizzy by suggesting the names of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee.

The Congress leader’s remark came as Banerjee persisted with Kalam’s candidature, who, sources said, is not acceptable to the party. Agreeing the Congress lacks in numbers and cannot, therefore, ignore ground realities, the leader expressed hope the party would be able to persuade the Mamata-Mulayam duo which has a 10.74 percent say the electoral college that will pick the next president.

“Both have a history of correcting their views..we hope to persuade them,” the Congress leader said.

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