Congress spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi has hailed the decision of choosing Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as presidential candidate, saying he is the ideal choice for the coveted post.
"Pranab Mukherjee''s name has been declared as the UPA candidate. We are very happy about it because his experience, his knowledge, his role in the past and his acceptance is unparallel and almost leaders of all the political parties have from time to time praised it, accepted it and lauded his role. So, I think he is the best candidate," Dwivedi told media here.
However, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain slammed the Congress party for declaring the candidate''s name without developing an all-party consensus on Mukherjee.
"The UPA has informed about their presidential candidate after discussing it with its allies parties but they should have tried to reach on a consensus with the NDA, BJP and other non-UPA parties. The UPA has taken a one sided decision. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called up opposition leader Sushma Swaraj and told her that they had zeroed in Mukherjee''s name but we will take our decision after the NDA meeting," said Hussain.
Sonia Gandhi formally announced Mukherjee as the ruling alliance''s presidential candidate, which the latter accepted with humility.
Coalition partners also congratulated Mukherjee on his nomination, presenting him, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi with shawls.
The presidential elections will be held on July 19. The vote count will take place on July 22.
If he wins, Mukherjee will become the nation''s 14th president on July 25.
Mukherjee has served as Finance Minister, Foreign Minister and Commerce Minister twice and also as Defence Minister. He chairs most of the cabinet committees tasked with making recommendations on important issues.