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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Pranab dials Didi, thanks her for lending support

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 17, 2012
First Published: 17:55 IST(17/7/2012) | Last Updated: 23:25 IST(17/7/2012)

On Tuesday, not only the recent chill in the Trinamool -UPA relationship came to an end, but another cold war-between Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and Congress veteran Pranab Mukherjee finally thawed. Mukherjee called up Banerjee to personally thank her for supporting the UPA in the Presidential poll.

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 Banerjee had mentioned on Tuesday afternoon that Mukherjee had not spoken to her in the past eight months. Within an hour, Mukherjee established the first direct communication after the long gap.

 Sources said, West Bengal chief minister told Mukherjee that his first official visit as the President of India should be to her state. Mukherjee promptly agreed. Banerjee also used the opportunity to request him to inaugurate some drinking water projects during his first visit.

 The UPA's Presidential candidate was taking his afternoon nap at his Talkatora Road residence when Banerjee met her party colleagues and decided to lend support to the UPA.

 A few minutes after her formal announcement, Mukherjee walked into his small office room at his bungalow and fixed his attention on television for the next 10 minutes-soaking every word spoken by Banerjee in Kolkata. Mukherjee's trusted aide Omita Paul quipped, “Finally, the tension is over.”

 A wheelchair-bound Ajit Jogi was the first Congress leader to come and greet Mukherjee. Soon, minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajiv Shukla joined him for a more important job: making fresh calculations on the victory margin.

 “Mamata has taken a positive stand. We are very happy that finally she has decided to support us. We also look forward to her support in the VP poll,” Shukla said. He also informed Mukherjee, “Dada, throughout the day, Soniaji (Gandhi) has taken class for party MPs on Presidential poll. She held a proxy ballot paper and demonstrated tirelessly on how to cast votes.”

 “She is always very serious about not losing any vote,” Mukherjee replied.


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