Kolkata/New Delhi: The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday accused UPA’s Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee of attempting to split the party, after the latter earlier in the day called up dissident TMC MP Kabir Suman seeking support.
Suman later said that he endorsed Pranab’s candidature for the top post.
Following the development, TMC MP Derek O`Brien said on micro blogging site Twitter: “Lots of Breaking News on President polls. But `he` who is trying to Break TMC can try another 1000 times... Your time starts now :).”
He added: “Pranab M directly called up a TMC MP seeking support. Politically ethical to do? Or trying to break TMC? Try & try again. Won`t break :).”
The Congress meanwhile denied the TMC charge that it was attempting to split TMC.
Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi said: "Why should we break their party? They are our allies... We have never done it."
Earlier, Kabir Suman said the Union Finance Minister telephoned him to inquire about his health and not to seek his vote.
"Will a person of the stature of Pranab Mukherjee ring me up to seek my vote? He never asked me for my vote. But I want him to be President. He has vision," Suman said.
Senior TMC leader and West Bengal minister Subrata Mukherjee too claimed Mukherjee was trying to break the party.
"This is unethical. Mukherjee should have rung up the TMC chief Mamata Banerjee," he said.
"It is unfortunate and unethical to make such a phone call to an individual MP or MLA," Urban Development Minister and a close aide of the TMC supremo, Firhad Hakim told reporters.
Another TMC party MP and Union Minister of State for Tourism Sultan Ahmed also expressed unhappiness over the development, saying Mukherjee should not speak to individual leaders of Trinamool but its chief Mamata Banerjee.
The TMC, meanwhile, today also made it clear that it won’t support the candidature of PA Sangma, who today quit his arty, the NCP.
(With PTI inputs)