Pranab campaign in UP, woos SP and BSP lawmakers
Launching his Presidential poll campaign in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, Pranab Mukherjee today wooed MPs and MLAs belonging to Samajwadi Party and BSP, rivals in state politics, who have rallied behind his bid for the top post.
Lucknow: Launching his Presidential poll campaign in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday wooed MPs and MLAs belonging to Samajwadi Party and BSP, rivals in state politics, who have rallied behind his bid for the top post.
Both Samajwadi Party and BSP have already pledged their support for Mukherjee and today Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav hosted a lunch in honour of Mukherjee who later attended a dinner by BSP supremo Mayawati.
Mukherjee reached out to SP MLAs and BSP parliamentarians and legislators who were present in strength at the two separate interactions with him.
The former Finance Minister also met over tea MLAs of Congress, RLD and other allies.
UP accounts for around 1.62 lakh votes of the total electoral college of 10.98 lakh votes.
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati paid rich compliments to Mukherjee as an administrator and politician and expressed the confidence that he would win with a huge margin.
Mukherjee, who reached here this afternoon, went straight from the airport to the CM`s official residence where all members of the UP Legislature, including ministers, were invited over lunch by Akhilesh.
While SP and Congress members along with MLAs of other parties attended the lunch, BSP and BJP members skipped the event.
MLAs of smaller parties, including Mukhtar Ansari of Kaumi Ekta Dal and Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal also attended the lunch.
Mulayam Singh Yadav and senior ministers, including Mohd Azam Khan, were among those present.
Mulayam said Mukherjee was a learned person and would win with huge number of votes from UP and Akhilesh Yadav said the election of the former Finance Minister to the post of the president would enhance the honour of the country.
Mayawati directed party MPs and MLAs to vote in favour of Mukherjee and said he would win with a very good margin as along with UPA some NDA allies are also backing him.
Seeking to strike a chord with BSP MLAs and MPs, Mukherjee said the Indian Constitution given by Bhim Rao Ambedkar is based on ethos of equality and brotherhood.
He said the economic development should be such that poor, dalit, backwards, women, youth, minorities and others all get its benefits equally.
The Presidential elections, in which Mukherjee`s rival will be Opposition-backed candidate and former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma are slated for July 19 and the counting of votes on July 22. Given the arithmetic, the Congress stalwart is widely expected to win the contest.