"Ultimately the decision will be hers, but as a political observer for Congress in West Bengal, I sincerely believe that Mamata will not ask her party MPs and MLAs on July 18 to abstain from the presidential election the next day and instead (decide to) support Pranab Mukherjee," AICC General Secretary and observer in-charge of West Bengal Shakeel Ahmed, said.
"We are still very much hopeful that as an important ally of UPA, Mamata Banerjee will take her party's stand on supporting both our presidential and vice-presidential nominees," Ahmed said on phone from Delhi.
Congress sincerely believes that Banerjee would do nothing to help communal forces on such vital national issues, Ahmed sadi, adding that the "Prime Minister has already twice requested Mamata Banerjee seeking her party's support."
He said that the Congress was keenly watching what the Trinamool Congress would do in the given situation "when UPA presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee has written a letter to the Trinamool Congress chief seeking her support with three days to go for the presidential election."
To a question if BJP was getting political advantage of the situation and trying to win Banerjee's support for the NDA presidential nominee, Ahmed said "it is nothing but wishful thinking on the part of the BJP."