Kolkata: The UPA's Presidential candidate, Pranab Mukherjee, is in Kokata on a two-day visit. The veteran Congress leader had appealed to the Trinamool Congress to support his candidature. He has, however, not made it clear whether he will meet Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjeee during the visit.
"The leadership of those parties who have not been able to take a decision, I appeal to them for their support," he said in response to a question if he would meet Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee during his visit to Kolkata to seek her support.
Pranab arrived in Kolkata on Friday to a rousing reception by thousands of slogan-shouting Congress workers. Pranab, who was escorted to a platform by his party workers and leaders after his arrival at NSCBI airport from Delhi, waved at them and seemed overwhelmed by the large turnout.
Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Presidential nominee PA Sangma had also said on Friday that he was hopeful of getting Mamata Banerjee's support. However, there has been no word from the Trinamool Congress yet on who will the support.
Meanwhile, Pranab seems to be emerging as a clear winner in the race for the Rashtrapati Bhawan with as much as over 60 per cent votes swinging in his favour. However, Sangma has not given up just yet, and is confident of the contest against the veteran Congressman.
Sangma, who even resigned from his party, the NCP, to contest the presidential poll has dismissed suggestions that his is a token fight against Mukherjee. Rising on the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the AIADMK, the North East strongman, in an exclusive interview to IBN18 Editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai, said that it was a serious fight.
According to the situation as of now, all the UPA allies, barring the Trinamool Congress, the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Forward Bloc, NDA allies JD(U) and Shiv Sena, and the CPM have decided to back Mukherjee in the race, suggesting a clear majority for him, even as the CPI and the RSP have decided to abstain from voting.
Meanwhile, to assert that the race has not yet been sealed, Sangma has pointed to the split in the NDA and the Left over the elections, saying had it been a token election, there wouldnt have been such difference of opinion.
He said, "The very fact that there is a split in almost all political parties shows that this election is a very serious election. It's not as smooth as the Congress is claiming it to be. Why there should be a split in the Left, why there should be a split in the NDA or other parties? What does it mean? It means people are taking this election so seriously, they're giving such a deep thought to it, which is a welcome development. I like it."
On the other hand, the veteran Congress troubleshooter, leaving no stone unturned, on Friday appealed to the leadership of all parties, which have not taken their decision till now, to support him in the poll.
(With additional information from PTI)