Saturday, June 8, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Cong ready for contest and consensus
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 7
The Congress today said it was prepared both for a “contest and consensus” on the presidential election.

Congress chief spokesperson S Jaipal Reddy told reporters here that the party was not against consensus on the choice of next President and was waiting a response from the Prime Minister who had earlier assured Congress President Sonia Gandhi that he would have a formal discussion with her on the matter.

“We are prepared both for a consensus as well as for a contest for the highest office,” he said.

To a question about two names having been suggested by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu during his meeting with the Prime Minister, Mr Reddy said nothing had been conveyed to the Congress by the government yet.

Asked about the possible candidature of Mr Krishan Kant for post of President, Mr Reddy said the names were being mentioned in the media and there was no official conformation.

“So far the government has not conveyed its view on the matter to the Congress. At the moment, things remain the same as they were,” he said when asked if the Congress would agree on making Vice-President Krishan Kant the President if his name was proposed by the government.

On whether the party was ready to follow convention in the matter of presidential polls, he said “yes and no.”

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