Pranab puts ball in Mamata court

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on July 09, 2012

Says willing to talk whenever Trinamool chief is ‘ready’

The United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) Presidential nominee, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, said on Monday that he would approach Trinamool Congress supremo Ms Mamata Banerjee for support only when she would be ready to talk to him.

“I am ready to talk to her as and when she is ready to talk to me,” Mr Mukherjee told newspersons in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly.

Mr Mukherjee further said that since his candidature for the Presidential poll was announced by the UPA, he had expressed his desire to get the support of all the partners in the ruling alliance.

After holding a series of meetings with the MPs and MLAs of the Congress, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Forward Bloc in the State, Mr Mukherjee said that all partners of the UPA have endorsed his candidature “except one”.

The Trinamool Congress, a key ally of the ruling UPA government, is yet to announce its stand on the presidential choice.

“I understand that they (Trinamool Congress) have not yet taken a decision. They will take their decision at an appropriate time,” he said.

High standards

Meanwhile, citing examples of Dr Rajendra Prasad, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishan and Dr Zakir Hussain and their successors, Mr Mukherjee said that he would aim to live up to the standards set by them.

Mr Mukherjee is pitted against Mr P A Sangma who has the backing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Biju Janata Dal and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).

The presidential elections will be held on July 19 and the vote count will take place on July 22.

Trinamool reacts

A senior Trinamool Congress leader, however, said that Mr Mukherjee should have ascertained earlier over telephone if Ms Mamata Banerjee was willing to speak.

“Mr Pranab Mukherjee should know if Ms Mamata Banerjee will talk to him or not and he should have telephoned her to ascertain this and this requires no mediator,” Mr Subrata Mukherjee, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister, said.

Meanwhile, two Congress MPs, Mr Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Ms Deepa Dasmunshi, urged the Congress high command to sever ties with the Trinamool Congress citing the latter’s indecision on the presidential poll issue.

“We have been observing with concern that the day Pranabda’s name was announced as presidential candidate, a systematic campaign was launched to malign Soniaji and Pranabda,” Ms Dasmunshi, MP from Raigung, reportedly told newspersons.

Left Front unity

Responding to a query on the likely Trinamool Congress-Congress tussle, the CPI (M) leader and Leader of the Opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Mr Suryakanta Mishra said, “Such a difference has been brewing for a long time and we knew that any rainbow alliance will not be permanent.”

Mr Mishra also clarified that the RSP and CPI’s stance of not supporting the candidature of the UPA nominee would not affect the unity of the Left.


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Published on July 09, 2012
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