Even in Srinagar, Mukherjee expressed hopes that Banerjee would support his candidature. The drama dragged on for weeks after SP chief betrayed Banerjee. Mukherjee did not help West Bengal to tide over its deep financial crisis. Mamata had not spoken to Mukherjee for almost eight months. So the extension of the support as an ally was a painful decision. It is more painful because, her staunch enemy CPI(M) also supported the UPA candidate for creating the rift between Congress and Trinamool.
"We didn't want to waste the votes. It was a painful decision. I am immensely pained to do this but had to do this in the larger interest of democracy. Coalition compulsions have forced me to support Pranab, and there is nothing else at work,” said a peeved Mamata while announcing her long awaited decision to support Pranab Mukherjee.
The presidential poll has split the UPA, Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance and the Left as well. One of the choices before the Trinamool was to abstain from voting. Trinamool has almost 50,000 votes. It is the main Opposition in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. Trinamool is the second largest UPA constituent. But wasting votes is meaningless and it may give wrong message to the people. So Mamata Banerjee has taken the U-turn after so much of acrimony. However, she has never attacked Pranab Mukherjee personally. She still cannot forget the day when Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav made a a volte face after a press conference with her where she and Mulayam rejected the UPA's choices for presidential election. They put forward the names of former president APJ Abdul Kalam, Manmohan Singh and former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.
Congress managed to win back Mulayam’s support in just 24 hours. Pranab Mukherjee has the support of the Left and even key NDA partners like the Shiv Sena and Janata Dal (United), and is pitted against former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma, who is backed by the BJP, Shiromani Akali Dal, Biju Janata Dal, the AIADMK and some smaller parties. It is not possible for Mamata Banerjee to abstain from voting and to support the BJP backed candidate who is otherwise very close to her.
The last hurdle in the path of Pranab Mukherjee towards Raisina Hill is cleared with Mamata’s announcement of support. The UPA unity is intact and this is what Sonia Gandhi too wanted before the Presidential Election. However, Mamata also made it clear that she will continue to oppose any anti-people policies of the UPA regime in spite of this support for Pranab Mukherjee as a Bengali. She refers to the rise of petroleum products, insurance sector reforms, SEZ, forcible land acquisition and FDI in retail sector. The fight against the Centre will continue. She supports it because the opposition of the ally of the UPA does not augur well as it is an election for the highest office of the land. Thus this is not a vote for Pranabda, but the UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee.
The most popular citizen journalists' reports on merinews chosen automatically on the basis of views and comments