Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is one of three candidates proposed as the next president by two of the nation’s most powerful regional parties amid jockeying for the post before next month’s election.
Leaders of Trinamool Congress Mamata Banerjee and the Samajwadi Party Mulayam Singh Yadav also proposed former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and former speaker of the lower house Somnath Chatterjee. The leaders were speaking at a press conference in New Delhi after meeting with Sonia Gandhi, the head of the ruling Congress Party.
The leaders refused to back Congress’ choice of either Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee or Vice-President Hamid Ansari.
The winner of the elections on July 19 will hold the largely ceremonial post as the country’s head of state. The president oversees the creation of a government in the event of a hung parliament following elections and has the title of supreme commander of the armed forces.