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CIMA Gallary

Son appeals to Mamata

Calcutta, June 23: Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit today made a “personal appeal” to Mamata Banerjee to support his father for President.

“I am making a personal appeal to her to back my father’s candidature for the President’s post,” the Congress MLA said, addressing the chief minister as “Mamatadi”.

“This is an appeal to the Trinamul Congress chief not from a politician but from a son for his father.”

Abhijit, who was speaking to reporters at his ancestral home in Mirati, Birbhum, later emphasised to The Telegraph that it was a “personal appeal”.

“I still remember that Baba, while referring to Mamatadi, once told us… that this lady would one day climb to the top of the ladder in Indian politics…. So, her opposition to my father’s candidature is somewhat painful for me,” he said.

Mukherjee himself stopped short of directly asking for Mamata’s support. “…All but one partner in the UPA are supporting my candidature. Even those outside the UPA, like the CPM, All India Forward Bloc and the Shiv Sena, are backing me…. I am appealing to those who have not made up their mind to support my candidature,” he said in Calcutta before leaving for Mirati this morning.

The Prime Minister, on his way back from Brazil, said he was still hoping Trinamul would back Pranab. “Trinamul is still part of UPA and I have still not given up hope that Trinamul Congress will also find its way to support the candidature of Pranab Mukherjee,” PTI quoted Singh as saying.

Congress sources said they were hopeful of a meeting between Mukherjee and Mamata. The Union minister, who returned to Calcutta tonight, however, said: “At this moment there is no possibility of meeting Mamata. But as and when is necessary, I will meet her.”