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BJP disappointed with Mamata's decision to back Pranab

BJP today took a dig at Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for her decision to support UPA's Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee, saying it was disappointed at the development and sought to know under what "compulsion" she had taken this stand.

india Updated: Jul 17, 2012 20:07 IST
BJP,Trinamool Congress,Mamata Banerjee

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday expressed its disappointment with West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee's decision to back United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee in the Raisina Hill race.

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said it is not clear under what compulsions did Banerjee decide to back Mukherjee, as she was the first one to raise her voice against the uncaring policies of the UPA Government eventually hurting the sentiments of the 'aam admi'.

"We are very disappointed. Mamata Banerjee was the first one to raise her to voice or to proclaim against the corrupt, uncaring UPA Government, taking up critical issues where the UPA went against the 'aam admi', whether it was price rise, whether it was fuel price rise or the NCTC in which the common man could have been harassed or FDI retail," said Sitharaman.

"All these issues on which we thought she was the first to proclaim a defiance and take a pro-people line. Today, we do not understand under what compulsion Mamata Banerjee has taken a line to support the UPA's candidate for the Presidential election. We understand that she is a part of the alliance, but still," she added.

Sitharaman also took potshots at Banerjee over her decision, saying was it all just a posturing on the latter's part.

"Was it all just a posturing when she spoke about common man's suffering for which she would go against the decision of the UPA? Under what compulsion, has she changed her mind to support a government, which is persisted by the anti-people policy, which has been completely uncaring on the suffering of the 'aam admi' in whose they won the election and came and are sitting in indifference to their cause," she said.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee earlier today announced that her party will vote for Pranab Mukherjee for President of India.

"We took a unanimous decision for the larger interest of the coalition dharma and state. We will support Pranab Mukherjee," she said.

Banerjee said she does so reluctantly, and only because she does not want her party's votes to be wasted via an abstention.

"Had APJ Abdul Kalam been a candidate, we would have voted for him. It is our misfortune that a person of his stature didn't have the support of all political parties. After that it was only about two candidates - Pranab Mukherjee and PA Sangma," Banerjee told the media after the Trinamool Congress Parliamentary party meeting in Kolkata.

"So, the choice before us really is either to abstain or to vote. We have nearly 50,000 votes in the Presidential elections," she added.

Banerjee had earlier said that she would take a final call on the Presidential election just three days before the polls.

UPA Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee will lock horns with former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma in the Raisina Hill race. The Presidential election will be held on Thursday.

Sangma enjoys the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Biju Janata Dal and the AIADMK.

First Published: Jul 17, 2012 20:00 IST