Mamata may supports Pranab, but depends upon the special package: sources
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress Chief has indicated that her party would not oppose any candidate promoted by Congress and can support too. This indication from Mamata came on Sunday when she conveyed her decision to Congress.
However, sources also say that the support of TMC to Congress's candidates depends upon the special package, which TMC has asked for West Bengal from the Centre.
TMC is seeking a special development package for West Bengal and TMC Chief has begun piling pressure over central government for it.
So, there is a strong chance that she can withdraw her support from Congress's promoted candidate if Central government led by Congress party along with allies fails to fulfill Mamata's demand.
There is also a speculation that Congress can promote Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for Presidential election as party arm of West Bengal has bat for him and also appealed to TMC to support Pranab.
Mukherjee has also expressed his interest for this post when he visited to state two days ago.
State Irrigation Minister Manas Bhunia, who has earlier headed the Congress' West Bengal unit, said that Mukherjee was the most apt choice for the post but added that the final decision had to be taken by the party's central leadership.
"Discussions about our nominee for the presidential election are still on and the ultimate decision vests with the party high command. But we feel Mukherjee is the most apt choice for the post," Bhunia told media persons in Kolkata.
"What has been concerning us the most is the silence of our ally - the Trinamool Congress. I appeal to them and their supremo (Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) to support Mukherjee as the choice for the president," he added.
The Congress is expected to announce its presidential candidate in the coming week before the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leaves the country to attend the G-20 meeting.
The name of Vice President Hamid Ansari has also been doing the rounds as a possible Congress candidate in the presidential polls.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which intends to convene a meeting of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to discuss the presidential election, has avoided comments on the issue after remarks of party leader Sushma Swaraj drew flak from its ally Janata Dal-United.
BJP sources said that the party is likely to come out with its stance after Congress declares its candidate.
Former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma, whose candidature is being supported by the Biju Janata Dal and the AIADMK, had Friday met senior BJP leader LK Advani to apparently seek the party's support.
--With IANS Inputs--
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