New Delhi: Reaching out to Mamata Banerjee, UPA Presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday heaped praise on the Trinamool Congress chief and asserted he does not have any "bitterness" towards her for not supporting his candidature.
"No, I am not hurt. I don`t have any bitterness, because every political party has its own approach to a particular problem. She is, frankly speaking, entitled to hold on to her views....
"I have no bitterness. Because she is so young, I have seen her grow up before my eyes and whatever she has achieved, it is her own achievement. She single handedly fought and achieved whatever she has achieved today," Mukherjee told a TV channel in an interview shortly after filing his nomination.
Mukherjee made these remarks when asked whether he had any bitterness towards the West Bengal Chief Minister on her not backing him for the Presidency.
Pointing out that besides all partners of UPA, even non UPA partners have given their support, the Congress stalwart renewed his appeal to Banerjee to back him in the Presidential race saying she can extend her support to him since she has not taken a decision so far.
"She has not yet taken a decision - she said that she would take a decision in the course of time - she can extend her support and I am appealing to her to extend her support. I have been saying it right from the beginning...," the veteran West Bengal leader said.
Mukherjee, who has received support of parties from across the political spectrum including CPI-M and Forward Bloc from the Left and JD-U and Shiv Sena from the NDA, also frankly said he did not expect this kind of support.
"Frankly speaking, I did not expect this wide spectrum of support from various cross sections of the Indian political party system.
I do not know whether I deserve that but I can only explain to it that throughout my life, I have received much more from others than I have given to them... I do feel that it is their magnanimity and their graciousness that they have extended their support to me," Mukherjee said.