Prez poll: Mamata seeks consensus for Kalam, denies rift with Mulayam
New Delhi, June 15 (ANI): Describing her choice of presidential candidates as a clarion call to all political parties, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee on Friday denied having any rift with Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh over the choice for the coveted post of President of India.
"Whatever we announced, all three candidates, we stick to it...This is wrong, why are you blaming Mulayamji," she said, when asked about rumours that Mulayam Singh had struck a deal with the Congress and will support their candidate.
Banerjee said that she and Mulayam are still together on their choice of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for President.
She further said she is confident that APJ Abdul Kalam will be elected President.
"Whatever response we are getting is good in favour of Kalamji and we stick to our three candidates. No one should contest against Kalam...I would appeal to all political parties to support him," she said.
When told that Kalam is still undecided on contesting the polls, Banerjee said: "That is wrong information, don't put Congress words in your mouth. Kalam is our candidate."
Banerjee had earlier defended the names as proposed by her along with Mulayam Singh, saying it is not a local election and the names recommended are of the stature of becoming the President of India.
Further warning the Centre, Banerjee said that she has not threatened anyone and does not intend to topple the UPA Government.
Banerjee, however, said that if the UPA wants her to leave, she will.
"We want to be in the UPA. If they don't want us in the government, that choice is with the Congress," she said.
Both Mamata and Mulayam had on Wednesday evening announced the names of former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee as their preferred choices for the July 19 presidential poll.
The Congress Party earlier in the day ruled out sparing Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh for the presidential race, as it rejected the three names proposed by the two allies, sending signals that it was not in a mood to bow before them.
"Manmohan Singh will stay prime minister till 2014. We cannot afford to spare Manmohan Singh," said Congress spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi.
Dwivedi also said that the names of former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and former President APJ Abdul Kalam as proposed by Mamata and Mulayam were not acceptable to the Congress.
Trinamool Congress, with 19 members in the Lok Sabha, is the largest constituent of UPA after the Congress. On the other hand, the Samajwadi Party, which has 22 members in the Lok Sabha, is an outside supporter of the ruling alliance. (ANI)
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