Pranab Mukherjee is UPA nominee for President

Finance minister Pranab MukherjeeIt is official now. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and the UPA government's trusted troubleshooter is also the government's nominee for President.

And, if Sonia Gandhi and her generals have their way, Pranab Mukherjee should be in the sprawling Presidential palace by 25 July as the term of the current President Pratibha Devisingh Patil expires on 24 July 2012.

Mukherjee, 76, is expected to step down as finance minister by 24 June, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, 78, could take charge of the ministry.

The development caps weeks of political turmoil that exposed the fragility of a coalition government with alliance partner Trinamool Congress proposing former president APJ Abdul Kalam as the nominee.

Trinamool chief after a meeting with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi yesterday also issued a joint statement with Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav proposing the names of Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Leftist leader Somnath Chatterjee as the likely nominees.

Pranab Mukherjee today said he is deeply honoured by his nomination for the President's post, and requested support of all political parties.