A K Antony meets M Karunanidhi ahead of Presidential ElectionTop Stories

April 30, 2012 06:13
A K Antony meets M Karunanidhi ahead of Presidential Election

Defence Minister and Congress leader A. K. Antony met M. Karunanidhi, DMK (Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam) chief and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu at his CIT Colony residence in Chennai yesterday morning.

The process to select the successor of Pratibha Patil, who is retiring on July 25, has begun. Congress led UPA allies are looking for an agreeable Presidential candidate by all.

Ms. Sonia Gandhi had asked Mr. Antony to meet the DMK chief to discuss about the present political situation and on the choice for the Presidential candidate. A few days before Sonia Gandhi met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief, Sharad Pawar on the issue for a harmonious choice of Presidential candidate.

Mr. Antony said as Mr. Karunanidhi is one of the senior-most leaders in the country and “we always value his advice.”

DMK Parliamentary leader T. R. Balu, Karunanidhi's daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, her mother Rajathimal and TKS Elangovan were present during more than an hour meeting.

The DMK has 18 Lok Sabha MPs, 7 Rajya Sabha MPs and 23 MLAs.

Mr. Antony said that he would convey the DMK leader’s views on the issue to the Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Congress sources say interaction with Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee, Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP Chief Mayawati is likely to happen in due course of time for their remarks and selection for the new President of India.

Hamind Ansari, Pranab Mukherjee and  Meira Kumar are among the names under review by the ruling party for the first Citizen of India. Dr. Abdul Kalam’s name is also there in air.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is unlikely to support any active Congress member for the post and may propose their candidate for the Presidential position.

The Congress has 31 percent of the total votes against 24 percent of the BJP in an electoral college for voting for the president. The UPA has a little over 40 percent of the total votes as against 57 percent it had in the last elections. The NationalDemocratic Alliance has less than 30 percent.

The President is elected by members of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and all state legislatures or Vidhan Sabhas by a system of proportional representation through single transferable vote. A threshold number of votes, known as the 'quota' is set, which candidates have to achieve to be elected. For presidential elections, the quota is set at one more than half the number of votes.  (msn)

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