New Delhi: Seeking to keep Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee in good humour ahead of Presidential poll, Congress Tuesday said she had not crossed the limit by suggesting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s name for the post of President.
"Mamata Banerjee is our valued ally and will remain our valued ally," Shakeel Ahmad, AICC in-charge of West Bengal, told reporters.
Asked whether the Trinamool Congress supremo had crossed the limit in suggesting Singh`s name as a Presidential candidate, he said "she had suggested a few names and I dont think she has crossed the limit".
"Suggesting the name of the Prime Minister was a little bit unwelcome for Congress people but her statement was neither unethical nor undemocratic," Ahmad said.
Congress leaders had been unhappy with Banerjee for going public with the discussions she had with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on the Presidential issue.
Banerjee had rejected Pranab Mukherjee and Hamid Ansari --Gandhi`s suggestion as possible presidential nominees -- and had announced Singh, former President A P J Abdul Kalam and former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee as her choice of candidates after talks with SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Ahmad said Congress will reach out to Banerjee to seek her support for Mukherjee and was hopeful that Banerjee would support him in the July 19 Presidential elections.
"Now, Kalam is not in the race. Obviously, we will request her to vote for Mukherjee," Ahmad said.(More)