With Pranab Mukherjee's nomination as UPA candidate for the Presidential poll gaining support, Congress on Friday hoped that Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress would also come on board.
"She is still our ally...the best is yet to come" remarked party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi to a host of questions on the issue soon after Sonia Gandhi announced Mukherjee's candidature.
"Definitely it would have been better (had Mamata not opposed Mukherjee's candidature)," he said in reply to a question.
However, shortly after Congress-led UPA announced Mukherjee as its Presidential candidate, Banerjee remained firm on the candidature of A P J Abdul Kalam.
"We are firm on the candidature of Kalam. He is the fittest candidate. We are not shifting from our stand of what we have announced earlier," Banerjee told PTI at the state secretariat in Kolkata.
"He is a man of high stature in India and most respected nationally and internationally," she said.
On Samajwadi Party extending support to Pranab Mukherjee, Banerjee said she had no communication from the party. "They did not talk to me. How do we know if there is no talk?"
Asked whether the Congress would also appeal to the NDA to support Mukherjee, Dwivedi said the NDA constituents are among the political parties to which the party has appealed for support.
Asked whether Mukherjee should get elected unopposed, he replied in the affirmative saying he fulfills "all qualifications and abilities" as President of the country and therefore it was the party's appeal to elect him unanimously.
"His experience, knowledge... and his acceptance is unparallelled in all political parties...All political parties have praised Mukherjee for his abilities from time-to-time.... We hope that everybody supports a candidate like Mukherjee," Dwivedi said.
Asked whether Congress foresaw a contest in the Presidential election, Dwivedi said, "We always hope for good. We want that everybody should support and a consensus is built since the candidature of such a person has been announced....
"Of all the names that had come out in public, Pranab Mukherjee was the most able. There was hardly any better candidate than him for this post," the spokesperson said.