Congress claims support of TDP, YSRC for Pranab

With less than a week left for Presidential polls on July 19, Congress is claimed to have garnered support for UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee from the parties outside coalition such as Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Y S R Congress of Jaganmohan Reddy.

Support of TDP and YSR Congress is likely to reinforce victory of Mukherjee, in whose favour even two of the Opposition NDA allies – JD(U) and Shiv Sena- have announced support.

According to sources, Congress had asked UPA ally and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi to to get Jagan on board to support Mukherjee.

Owaisi, after meeting Jagan last month at Chanchalguda jail in Andhra Pradesh capital said that YSR Congress chief “has assured me that he will support Pranabda.”

A senior AICC functionary told Deccan Herald: “We are sure that TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu will support Mukherjee’s candidature.”

However, as more and more support is pouring in for UPA candidate, Congress party’s relations with key ally Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee, who had rejected Mukherjee’s candidature, continue to be strained. Mamata has not yet taken any decision on Presidential polls.

Officially, Congress has been maintaining that TMC as an ally of UPA will finally support Mukherjee’s candidature. However, the party leaders are unsure of the decision of its troublesome ally.

A senior leader of the party said: “It appears that even Pranab da has reconciled that Mamata may not support him as in recent meetings he said that ‘all partners of UPA have supported me except one’.”

After opposing Mukherejee’s candidature, TMC chief is said to be keen on proposing the name of former West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi for the post of Vice President at a time when Congress has nearly finalised Hamid Ansari as their candidate for the second time.

According to sources in TMC, name of Krishna Bose, former MP and niece of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, is also being floated. Mamata has asked Railway Minister Mukul Roy to attend the July 14 UPA meeting. It is likely that Roy would propose the name of Gandhi as the nominee of the ruling coalition for the post in the meeting.

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