Trinamool calls Mulayam a 'traitor', hopes for consensus on Kalam
Kolkata, June 15 (IANS) Terming Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav a "traitor" after his party's about-turn in extending support to union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's candidature for president, the Trinamool Congress leadership Friday said they are still hopeful about having a consensus on A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as the next president of India.
"We all know that Mamata Banerjee sticks to whatever she says. Now it is for the people of the country to decide on the betrayal of Mulayam Singh," Trinamool MP Sukhendu Shekar Ray said.
Pranab Mukherjee, the government's most reliable trouble-shooter, was Friday named the United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) candidate for president and found backing from several parties including the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
In less than 48 hours, the Samajwadi Party Friday did a U-turn on its support to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as the country's president, now backing him wholeheartedly.
On Wednesday, Mulayam Singh had, along with Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, virtually rejected the candidature of Mukherjee, a name suggested by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The two leaders had suggested the name of former president Kalam, along with two other names as possible candidates for the post.
Banerjee had Thursday stated that she and Mulayam were steadfast in their support for Kalam. However, Friday the SP extended support to Mukherjee's candidature.
"In politics there is nothing called last word. We have heard that both SP and BSP have extended their support, but you must keep in mind one thing that presidential election is still far away. We stick to our stand and we are hopeful about clinching a consensus. We stick to whatever our (chief) Mamata Banerjee said," Trinamool Congress state president and MP Subrata Bakshi told IANS.
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