New Delhi, India
With a show of strength that the put the outcome of the contest beyond any shadow of doubt, UPA’s presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee filed his papers in the company of the entire leadership - prime minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and a host of cabinet ministers and leaders from supporting parties.
After submitting the papers, 77-year old Mukherjee who is all set to enter the Rashtrapati Bhawan after the July 19th elections, expressed his gratitude to all the parties who have supported him to occupy a post that has been held in the past by stalwarts.
He also invoked divine blessings for his election campaign.
Union parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Bansal, who is Mukherjee’s chief election agent, informed that in all four sets of papers had been filed, and they had the signatures of over 480 members of the electoral college that comprises of the MPs and legislators.
Bansal was not overtly worried that one of the alliance partners-Trinamool Congress has not yet lined up to support to Mukherjee.
He indicated that the Congress would continue reaching out to the TMC, but also hinted that not much would be lost in the event of its refusing to support Mukherjee.
Apart from the Samajwadi party and the BSP, its two supporting allies, the UPA candidate has already got the support of the JD(U), the Shiv Sena and the CPI(M) that is beyond the existing political alignment. This puts the election beyond any shade of doubt.
A short while after Mukherjee filed his papers, the combined opposition candidate PA Sangma also joined the race. At the time of filing his papers, Sangma was accompanied by the top BJP leaders including LK Advani, Arun Jaitley, and party president Nitin Gadkari, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, and other leaders from the NDA. However, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa one of the first sponsors of Sangma’s candidature was conspicuous by her absence. Her absence was explained to indisposition, and it was clarified on NDA’s behalf that there was not political about it.
By Daily News & Analysis, June 29, 2012