Mamata to support Pranab for Prez post

Mamata to support Pranab for Prez post

Mamata to support Pranab for Prez post

 Politically isolated Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced that her party would support UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee in the July 19 Presidential election.

“The party had authorised me to take a decision on our stand on the Presidential election. We had two options—to abstain from voting or to vote for any one of the candidates. We cannot abstain from the election because of our commitment to the people and so we decided to vote,” Mamata told reporters here on Tuesday.

“Our choice for the president’s post was A P J Abdul Kalam. But he decided to quit from the race because many political parties did not accept him as a candidate. It is unfortunate,” she said.
She described the decision to support Mukherjee as a sad and tough one.

Mamata said: “Being a part of the UPA coalition, we decided to extend our support to Pranab Mukherjee with a heavy heart because we were left with no other option. We have 50,000 votes and even if we abstain from the election, Mukherjee will be still ahead by 50,000 votes. We didn’t want to waste our votes because we have some commitment to the people. It is our unanimous decision. In the interest of the people, democracy ... we have decided to vote for him (Mukherjee).”

When asked whether she had taken the decision under pressure, Mamata said: “There was no pressure on us. We have taken the decision with a free heart. I have even conveyed our decision to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.”

Accusing the Congress, Mamata said: “For the last few days, our friends in the Congress have been attacking us in a dangerous way. I want to tell them that this hasn’t provoked us yet and we are still in the alliance. It is not my intention to put the government in a problem or topple the government. We are against FDI in retail, petrol price hike, privatisation of insurance and SEZ. We entered into the alliance after making clear these conditions, which have been mentioned even in our manifesto and now we cannot go back.”

she added: “At the same we are with the Congress because it is our commitment towards the masses. That’s the reason we have opposed various anti-people policies. The Centre should take a decision after consultations and proper coordination. This coordination is not there at the Centre.”
Mulayum Singh Yadav and Nitish Kumar have arm-twisted the government and were assured Central grants, she claimed.

When asked whether she would go the same way, Mamata said: “We are not in a favour of blackmailing. We are not asking for anything.”

The Trinamool’s decision was immediately welcomed by the Congress in Delhi and by Mukherjee’s son Abhijit, an MLA in West Bengal.

With the Trinamool’s decision, Mukherjee has now the support of nearly seven lakh vote value in an electoral college of nearly 11 lakh. Apart from the UPA partners, he also has the support of the CPM and Forward Bloc and BJP allies the Janata Dal-United and Shiv Sena.

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