New Delhi: The Presidential poll this year has created much noise than expected for obvious political reasons. Allies Trinamool Congress and Samjawadi Party introduced a dramatic twist into the race on Wednesday evening by making it clear than they would not go with the UPA Chairperson and Congress President Sonia Gandhi's choice.
Leading the race is Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, backed by Congress. Others in the fray are Vice-President Hamid Ansari, former president APJ Abdul Kalam and former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee. Kalam is a strong contender as he has the support of Mamata and Mulayam. Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh also figures in the list as one of the competitors.
Mamata introduced a dramatic twist into the race by making it clear than she would not go with Congress\'s choice.
Here is the list of strengths and weaknesses of the nominees:
Strengths: Wide experience of government and constitution
Respected across parties
Weakness: Has had an uneasy equation with Sonia Gandhi.
Needed by UPA-II for crisis management
Strength: Dignified as Vice-President
Congress's second choice for now
Weakness: BJP may oppose his candidature, especially after the Lokpal Bill controversy
APJ Abdul Kalam
Strengths: Known as people's President and a popular choice
Weakness: Seen as an NDA candidate
Strengths: Parliamentarian par excellence
Weakness: Congress sees him as too independent
Not a Congressman and his appointment would anger the Left
Strengths: Personal integrity
Weakness: Needed more in government during economic crisis
Won't be acceptable to the Opposition
Making him President would be admission of the government’s failure.