India, by all means is set to support French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde to head IMF.
Lagarde, who is on a day's visit to India, met Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, and said she was given a positive response.
While maintaining that 'merit, and not nationality' should be the key factors influencing a candidate's selection for the IMF chief post, Mukherjee said he would even talk to Mexico's central bank governor, and try to dissuade him from contesting, in order to build a consensus around Lagarde. He maintained that the selection should be through consensus.
India earlier had urged on a candidate representing the rising economies of the world, and had resented European officials' suggestion that the next IMF head should automatically be a European. We are open to support a strong candidate from emerging economies. He or she could either be Mexican, Brazilian or South African, an Indian government source had told Reuters, under the condition of anonymity.
India had preferred Trevor Manuel, South Africa's former finance minister, as the joint emerging markets candidate. But Manuel did not find favor from a few emerging countries.
According to sources, Mukherjee told Lagarde that New Delhi appreciated her credentials. However, publicly he said, there is no assurance. We are working on a consensus. Lagarde said, We had an excellent meeting. We were able to review quite a few issues, a report in Business Standard stated.
On her visit, Lagarde also met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Planning Commission Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
Ahluwalia, India's most likely contender for the post had been ruled out because of his age. He is 67, whereas as per IMF rules, the head of the global lender should not be over 65 years of age.
India's decision to support Lagarde could be because of the strong relations with France, a major power in Europe.