Kolkata: A Trinamool Congress leader Sunday said that UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee has been a close friend of the Communists throughout his life.
"He (Mukherjee) owes a lot to CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) and Left Front. When he started his political career in Bengal Congress in the 1960s, then also he received lot of help from the Marxists," Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee said.
"And now, when he is leaving party politics, he is again getting the help of the Communists. He has been a very close friend of CPI-M all through his life," he added.
The Trinamool, the second largest constituent of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), is yet to take a stand on the presidential election after its preferred candidate, former president APJ Abdul Kalam, declined to contest.
But Banerjee has so far opposed Mukherjee`s bid for the top post. She is said to have told her aides that she would decide her stand two or three days before the July 19 vote.
Mukhherjee is pitted against former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma, who has the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party and some National Democratic Alliance onstituents besides the AIADMK and Biju Janata Dal.