New Delhi, June 27 (PTI): Pranab Mukherjee and P A Sangma will file their nominations on Thursday, setting off the Presidential race between United Progressive Alliance and the Bharatiya Janata Party-backed Opposition candidate in which the ruling alliance is set for a runaway victory.
Unfazed by the revolt of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, the UPA will use the occasion of filing of nomination of Mukherjee to project a united picture and its penetration into NDA.
Mukherjee will file papers at 11 am in the presence of the top brass of UPA including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and alliance Chairperson and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
Barring Trinamool Congress, leaders of all UPA constituents are expected to be present on the occasion including Sharad Pawar (NCP), T R Baalu (DMK), Farooq Abdullah (NC) and E Ahmed (IUML), in a move to project a united face of the ruling alliance.
The Janata Dal (United) and Shiv Sena, allies of the National Democratic Alliance, have decided to support Mukherjee.
Mukherjee is expected to file four sets of nomination papers and NDA Convenor and JD (U) chief Sharad Yadav is the first signatory to one such set which also has the signature of Defence Minister A K Antony.
Mukherjee, 77, is poised to become the next President amidst indications of an overwhelmingly favourable arithmetic and the election managers of UPA are working overtime to secure record votes for him.
The timing of filing of nomination by Sangma, 64, has not yet been given out by his office. He is likely to be accompanied by senior BJP leaders, Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy and senior MPs from All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), among others.