EC notification on Prez poll by 2nd week of June

New Delhi: The process for Presidential poll will be set in motion by the second week of June when the Election Commission will issue its notification in this regard. President Pratibha Patil`s term ends on July 24 and the EC notification in this regard will be issued during the second week of June, sources say.

"The notification for the last Presidential election was issued on June 13. The EC will be issuing a notification around that date this time too," a top official of the Election Commission told PTI. There is a checklist of 41 tasks for the Presidential election and work has already begun on them, he said.

Incidentally, the head of the poll panel S Y Quraishi also retires during that time and it has to be seen whether he or his sucessor will issue the notification for rolling the process of Presidential election. Speculation is rife about the next incumbent for the country`s top post and a number of names are already doing the rounds. The ruling Congress and the opposition BJP have so far remained silent on the candidature issue, while NCP leader and former Speaker P A Sangma has jumped into the race.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is considered as being among the frontrunners along with Vice President Hamid Ansari from the ruling Congress. Sangma`s candidature has been backed by two chief ministers – J Jayalalithaa (Tamil Nadu) and Naveen Patnaik (Odisha), while his own party, an ally of UPA, has not extended its support to him.

Other regional parties like the Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have also not extended their clear support to any candidate so far, even though some of them have been involved in discussions with other parties in a bid to evolve some consensus candidate. There is an electoral college of around 11 lakh votes, with UPA set to get a majority support with the help of its allies and certain non-UPA parties.