Presidential election: CPI(M) to support Pranab Mukherjee

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New Delhi, Jun 21: The CPI(M) on Thursday decided to support UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee in the upcoming presidential election. The decision was taken at the party's Politburo meeting. The issue will be raised at the meeting of the four Left parties on Thursday evening.

Observers believe that the CPI(M) took the decision to corner rivals Trinamool Congress (TMC), to which they had lost in the last year's West Bengal assembly polls, first time since 1977. The party, which is undergoing a rough phase of late, would also face severe criticism if it did not support Mukherjee. The Kerala lobby of the party was outsmarted by the Bengal lobby determined not to lose its face and let go a chance to redeem some importance in the national politics.

However, the Bengal lobby is yet to finish the job. A lot would depend on the outcome of the meeting of all Left parties, for the CPI and RSP were not in favour of supporting Mukherjee's candidature. The CPI(M) would have to convince the nay-sayers to reach a consensus on the issue.

The Forward Bloc, too, asked other Left parties to back Mukherjee for not only he is a widely accepted candidate but also because such a move could widen the gap between the Congress and the TMC and work in the Left's favour. One of the top leaders of the party said they would strongly promote Mukherjee's candidature.

The Left parties account for around 51,000 vote value in the electoral college of 10.98 lakh vote value. Mukherjee has already garnered support of 5.44 lakh vote value. The winning candidate needs to garner at least 5,49,442 votes.

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