UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee, the odds-on favourite to win, is still willing to talk to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee for her support.
“I am ready to talk to her whenever she is ready to talk to me,” Mukherjee said on Monday during his last scheduled visit to Kolkata before the presidential polls on July 19.
All parties in the UPA, barring Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, are supporting Mukherjee’s presidential bid. The Congress leader even has the backing of Shiv Sena and Janata Dal (United) from the rival National Democratic Alliance.
“I appealed on different occasions regarding Trinamool Congress support. They are yet to take a decision. They will take a decision at an appropriate time. I will not say anything more on this issue,” Mukherjee said.
Banerjee had backed former president APJ Abdul Kalam for a second term, but he declined to enter the poll fray. She has been silent since then on the presidential election.
According to Trinamool leaders, Banerjee will make her stand clear 48 to 72 hours before the election. On paper, Mukherjee is assured of the support of nearly 65% of around 1.1 million votes of the electoral college.
Earlier in the day, Mukherjee met leaders of the CPI(M) and Forward Bloc, two Left parties supporting his presidential bid, at the assembly. Later, he met Congress legislators and MPs.
The former finance minister said he was visiting different states to thank parties supporting him.