New Delhi: The results of the Presidential election will be out on Sunday. It has been a bitter and intense race for the Rashtrapati Bhawan. But with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee falling in line, it's almost certain now that UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee will be the next President.
The battle for the non-political post has been intensely political. After several detours, it's the UPA which finds itself in a winning position.
In this race for the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the Congress managed to make new friends and split the NDA as well. The Shiv Sena, Janata Dal United, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party are with the UPA on Pranab as President.
But this support has come with a price. For instance, the government agreed to offer a special package for Uttar Pradesh as a goodwill gesture. The Congress didn't give up wooing Mamata though. With the Samajwadi Party dumping her, these polls taught her a lesson in real politics.
But the biggest blow came from the NDA. Refusing to not putting up a fight, the NDA supported BJD and Jayalalithaa's choice PA Sangma as the Presidential candidate.
But in the bargain, the Bharatiya Janata Party lost two allies, JD(U) and Shiv Sena to the UPA.
Pranab is expected to get at least 70 per cent votes. The UPA has a reason to smile, but for both the BJP and the Congress it's yet another reminder that they are heavily dependent on smaller parties to have their way.