New Delhi: Dismissing reports that Mulayam Singh Yadav has ended alliance with the Trinamool Congress on the issue of presidential candidate, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that the Samajwadi Party chief is still with her.
"It is wrong information. I can say only this. He (Kalam) is our (TMC-SP) candidate in the Presidential election. There is no ego, no quarrel, no fight," she told reporters seeking to dismiss persistent reports that the SP was no longer keen on backing Kalam.
“APJ Abdul Kalam is both my and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s candidate for the President’s post,” Mamata said while addressing the reporters here.
"I stayed in Delhi for two days and after the announcement of our candidates, me and Mulayam Singhji waited for 24 hours... but Congress rejected our candidates. Other political parties have not yet responded but whatever response we got it is in favour of Kalamji," Banerjee said.
"Kalamji will be contesting the elections... our advance congratulations to Kalamji."
"He is an asset to the country. He is a man who can glorify India like anything … he is a popular figure in the world and if there is presidential elections directly like America, he would probably be the number one... nobody would contest against him," she said.
“I appeal to all the political parties to support Kalam’s candidature for the top post.”
Interestingly, former president Kalam today praised those backing him for a second term as president but said that he will take a final call on it later.
Mamata’s reaction came minutes after Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav today said that the West Bengal Chief Minister’s announcement of APJ Abdul Kalam as the presidential candidate is her personal choice.
Asked about Ram Gopal Yadav's comments, Mamata said, "Don't put Congress words into his mouth. Don't divide and rule. Hamara means 'dono ka candidate' (candidate of both). My Hindi may be bad, that may be the reason for confusion."
Before leaving for Kolkata without attending the UPA meeting here, Mamata said it was wrong to say that Mulayam Singh Yadav has gone back on their joint proposal.
The Trinamool chief yesterday described Kalam as "number one and the best candidate".
Banerjee, along with Mualayam Singh, had suggested the name of former president APJ Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee as probable candidates to succeed President Pratibha Patil who demits office on July 24.
First Published: Friday, June 15, 2012, 11:56