Sonia meets Congress MPs ahead of presidential poll


New Delhi : Congress president Sonia Gandhi Tuesday met party MPs as part of efforts to ensure full participation and hassle-free voting by its representatives in the presidential election July 19.

Support TwoCircles

Members of parliament from various states met Gandhi in batches along with party office-bearers.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Harish Rawat said later that it was a normal practice for the Congress MPs to meet the party president before presidential and vice presidential election. The party has fielded Pranab Mukherjee for president and re-nominated Hamid Ansari as vice president.

He said MPs were told about the correct procedure of voting.

Another party leader, who met Gandhi Tuesday, said MPs had “shown their presence”.

Rawat also dismissed the possibility of cross-voting in the United Progressive Alliance.

Former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma, whose candidature is being backed by opposition parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party, is pinning his hopes on a conscience vote in the presidential poll.

Party sources said Gandhi told the MPs to ensure that voting procedures were followed correctly.

The meeting comes a day before the lunch hosted by Gandhi for MPs from the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA). Party sources said that outside supporters of UPA, who have extended support to Mukherjee, are also to likely to join the lunch.

Polling for the presidential poll is slated for Thursday.