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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 26, 2007
Mayawati effect: Upper caste members emerge frontrunners for President
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Mayawati effect: Upper caste members emerge frontrunners for President

Hours after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati left the capital following meetings with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, the race for the next President is skewed towards upper caste candidates.

New Delhi, May 26 : Hours after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati left the capital following meetings with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, the race for the next President is skewed towards upper caste candidates.

Two new names have surfaced-- Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil (a Marathawada) and former Uttarakhand Chief Minister N D Tiwari (a Brahmin candidate).

Dalit leader Mayawati, who commands over 50,000 votes in the presidential electorate, has tilted the scale in favour of upper caste candidates, as in recent years she has vigorously tried to garner their support, particularly the Brahmins.

At Friday's meeting with Sonia Gandhi, Mayawati who spent more than an hour with the leader, reportedly assured her party's support for the UPA's Presidential nominee.

Mayawati's siding with the UPA has virtually wiped out President kalam's chances of a second consecutive term.

The government will now be preparing for a face-off with the opposition NDA, who have shown their preference for Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

The UPA names that are already doing the rounds are that of External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, ICCR chairman Dr. Karan Singh, Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde- the lone Dalit frontrunner.

The name of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who is a Left leader, is also doing the rounds.

Though Pranab Mukherjee's name has already fetched Left leaders' approval, Prime Minister Singh has publicly denied discussion of any names.

Now, it all depends on the consensus and the unanimity between UPA, the Left and Mayawati.

Mayawati has so far not publicly spelt out her preference and has said that her party's executive meeting will decide on the next Presidential nominee.

The polls are slated to be held in July with the UPA presently having the upper edge in getting its candidate elected to become the next President with the approval from the Left and Mayawati's BSP.

ANI

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