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Mamata to tell TMC MPs, MLAs to support Kalam

Jun 18, 2012 09:44 AM IST Politics Politics

Kolkata: Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has been backing Dr APJ Kalam's candidature for the President's post is expected to make a formal announcement to her party on Monday evening. A meeting will be held on Monday evening.

Party sources say Mamata will issue a whip instructing the Trinamool MPs and MLAs to fall in line and vote for the candidate she picks.

Sources add that a specific diktat has been issued to ensure no cross-voting. Sources say many of her MLAs and MPs are upset with Mamata's decision to not support UPA's Presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee.

Mamata Banerjee took an indirect swipe at Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on her Facebook page for his U-turn on the Presidential nominee issue. She wrote, "It is most unfortunate that politics in our great nation has become murky and values, public interest have been compromised through the use of money, power and scams."

Days after Mamata and Mulayam came up with three names for the Presidential nominee - former President APJ Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee - the Samajwadi Party supremo came out in Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's support. This came after the Congress announced Pranab as its Presidential nominee.

However, Mamata remained firm on Kalam and took to Facebook to gather support for his candidature.

Trinamool MP Kunal Ghosh said the party was firm about backing Kalam for Presidency. He said that Mamata also requested NCP leader PA Sangma to withdraw from the race. "PA Sangma rang up Mamata Banerjee. She requested him to withdraw his nomination in support of Kalam. We are in favour of Kalam and we appeal to all parties to support him."