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Full House for Pranab's big day

delhi Updated: Jun 29, 2012 02:49 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Mulayam Singh Yadav

The corridor of the Parliament House was choc-a-bloc with the who's who of the UPA and its supporters. As Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi led Pranab Mukherjee to the Rajya Sabha secretariat to file his nomination for the presidential poll; the Congress managers ensured the event showcased the soaring support in favour of the ruling party.

"We will get an overwhelming, thumping majority beyond the imagination of others," parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP leader Satish Mishra-both were present along with leaders of all allies (except Trinamool Congress). Outside, eight Congress chief ministers and central ministers waited patiently.

In Rajya Sabha secretary general's room, where nomination was filed, home minister P Chidambaram was given the special responsibility to check all relevant papers. Rahul Gandhi, who was standing in a corner, was requested to sit on the first row along with Sonia Gandhi, PM and Mukherjee.

The first set of nomination papers was delivered to the returning officer by the Congress president and the PM. Mukherjee handed over another set while Congress treasurer Motilal Vora submitted the fourth set.

Meanwhile, efforts are also on to bring the disgruntled Trinamool boss Mamata Banerjee back on board. Mukherjee will campaign in West Bengal on July 9. "He can meet Banerjee during his tour provided there is a possibility of a meaningful outcome," said a Congress source.

After his two-day tour to Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore from June 30, he will travel to Lucknow on July 3 to meet both SP and BSP leaders.