Not surprised by Mamata's decision not to support: Pranab

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Mamata Banerjee and Pranab Mukherjee
New Delhi, Jul 15: Pranab Mukherjee, UPA's nominee for the Presidential poll, on Jul 14 said he was not surprised by the decision of ally Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee not to support his candidature, saying she was "toying" with various ideas.

With just five days left for the high profile election, Mukherjee revealed that he had written to around 5000 members of the electoral college comprising MPs, MLAs and MLCs besides meeting leaders of some political parties which have publicly supported his candidature.

When asked about Mamata's refusal to support his candidature, the veteran Congress leader and former Finance Minister said, "It was not surprising because she is toying with various ideas."

Citing media reports, Mukherjee said Mamata would be taking a decision on her party's support only 3-4 days before the polling on July 19.

Mukherjee, who was interacting with journalists covering the Finance Ministry at his residence while taking a break from his countrywide tour, said he has met most of the leaders of political parties which have announced support to his candidature.

"But I have written to all the members of (the electoral college)...about 5,000 (of them). I have met and had interaction with only those political parties who publicly expressed their support," he said.

According to him, after being elected as President, he would be engaging more in reading and studies. Mukherjee, who has had over five-decade experience in political life including holding key posts in the government, suggested that he was not aware of the functioning of the Rashtrapati Bhavan where he is set to go after the counting on July 22.

"(About) government I have idea, ministries I have idea...but that office (President's) I have no idea," he said. Mukherjee also said "my relationship all these years had been totally formal" with all the Presidents.

PTI

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