Pranab called me but didn't seek support, says Advani
BJP patriarch LK Advani said on Monday that Congress presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee had called him up after securing the party's nomination for the top post, but did not seek his party's support.delhi Updated: Jun 26, 2012 02:18 IST
BJP patriarch LK Advani said on Monday that Congress presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee had called him up after securing the party's nomination for the top post, but did not seek his party's support. Referring to the conversation he had had with the Prime Minister - in which, as is widely known, the PM sought support and Advani said the request had come too late - Advani added: "Shortly thereafter I received yet another phone call from Pranab Da himself. He conveyed that he had been nominated. But he did not ask for support. He just reminisced about how since 1970 we had been together in Parliament, sharing bonds of mutual esteem and affection." This was seen as Advani's way of adding more teeth to the BJP's charge that the UPA just "informed" the BJP about its candidate without having consultations with it to seek a consensus. Advani recalled that Indira Gandhi's candidate VV Giri had defeated the Congress (Syndicate) candidate N Sanjeeva Reddy in 1969 for the top post after a call for "conscience vote" given by Indira Gandhi. Significantly, BJP-supported candidate PA Sangma has been calling for a conscience vote in the hope that this would enable him close the huge lead Mukherjee enjoys in the electoral college. He, however, added that he had said in response to Indira Gandhi's call that conscience vote in the singular was a "virtue" and in the plural a "conspiracy". This was read as Advani's concern that cross-voting could in fact widen the margin.