Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said victory of UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee was expected even before polling for the Presidential election began and the support of Trinamool Congress will now increase the margin of the victory.
"Pranab Mukherjee`s victory was a given. The atmosphere became good after Mamata Banerjee extended support which will increase the margin of victory," Omar told reporters after casting his vote in the Assembly complex here.
He said Mukherjee was the best candidate for the highest constitutional post and it was difficult to oppose him in view of his contribution.
Omar said it was unfortunate that opposition-backed candidate PA Sangma stayed in the race even after there was no chance of his success.
He also said Sangma`s campaign for the Presidential polls was not in consonance with the high office he was running for.
"Such kind of campaign is fine for an Assembly or Parliament election," he added.
Seventy-one MLAs, including 28 from ruling National Conference, 17 from Congress and 21 from opposition PDP, are supporting Mukherjee, while 16, including 11 from BJP are extending support to Sangma.
Responding to a question about clemency for Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, the Chief Minister said the President as a person does not have much individual flexibility on such issues.
"It will depend on the Government of India (recommendations to the President on the matter)," he said.
Omar said the state government has already given its views on the issue to the Centre and expressed hope that its view point will be given due consideration while a decision is made.