NEW DELHI, June 12 � The process to elect the next President gathered momentum today with the Election Commission announcing July 19 as the poll date amid further indications of Pranab Mukherjee being the UPA nominee, reports PTI.
As per the schedule, the next occupant of the Rashtrapati Bhavan would be known on July 22, two days before the term of the incumbent Pratibha Patil ends.
Coinciding with the announcement of the poll schedule, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, whose party Trinamool Congress is a key constituent of the UPA, reached Delhi to discuss the Presidential candidate issue with Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Significantly, prior to her meeting with Gandhi, she held confabulations with Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose party is an outside supporter of UPA and is expected to play a critical role in Congress-led alliance�s aspirations to have its nominee in the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The meeting came amid further indications of Mukherjee being the UPA candidate, with NCP, another key constituent of the alliance, saying the next President �will be seniormost person�.
Announcing the poll schedule, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath said the notification for the poll will be issued on June 16. Last date of nomination will be June 30 and nominations can be withdrawn by July 4.
Polling, if necessary, will take place on July 19 and counting of votes will take place on July 22, Sampath told a crowded press conference.