Congress hails Kalam's decision, seeks Mamata's support

Congress hails Kalam's decision, seeks Mamata's support

Terming former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's decision not to contest the presidential election as "appropriate", the Congress Monday again sought support of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's candidature.

"Former president (A.P.J. Abdul) Kalam is a very distinguished person. We have the highest respect for him and in his wisdom, he has taken this decision. I think it obviously must be an appropriate decision," Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari told reporters.

Seeking Banerjee's support, Tiwari said: "We would like the chief minister of West Bengal and Trinamool Congress, to support the candidature of Mukherjee. In fact, he has personally appealed to her. He has addressed her as a sister and said that he would expect that she and TMC would support his candidature."

Reacting to allegations levelled by Team Anna against Mukherjee, Tiwari said: "It is indeed very unfortunate that some people have got into the habit of making allegations against distinguished and senior leaders who have spent a lifetime in public service." 

The Congress rejected the allegations saying the matter is pending trial in the court. "So under these circumstances, to drag Mukherjee's name into these proceedings, is not only unfortunate, but is politically motivated. This obviously reflects the panic in certain quarters, given the broad multi-party support with Mukherjee's candidature and the endorsement which it has drawn from across the country," Tiwari added.

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