Floated 3 names as Congress hesitated on Pranab: Mulayam
"The SP has always been against deals as it is the work of brokers. We supported Pranab Mukherjee's candidature because he is a capable and experienced leader with an ability to take everyone along," Yadav told reporters in Lucknow.
"Earlier, there was an impression that Pranab's name is not coming up. In that case, the name of (Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh was suitable for the post as also the names of Somnath Chatterjee and A J P Abdul Kalam," Yadav said, giving reasons for coming out with three names in the company of Mamata.
Yadav also said that the three names they floated were only "suggestions" and he was happy that his "original proposal" had been accepted. "I have now fulfilled my promise by backing Pranab's candidature," he said.
In Kolkata, SP Rajya Sabha MP Kiranmoy Nanda, who played a key role in negotiations between his party and Trinamool, however, said the SP had no other option but to support Mukherjee as the three candidates named by them had not given their consent to fight the election. "In such a situation we had no option but to support Mukherjee," Nanda said, adding that he would have been happy had either the PM, Chatterjee or Kalam decided to fight the poll.
Asked why the SP did not speak to Mamata before lending support to Mukherjee, Nanda said: "It is now a closed chapter."
However, he stressed that "ties between the Trinamool and SP are still alive and will remain alive". "Since we have supported the candidature of Mukherjee, attempts have started from certain quarters to create confusion and misunderstanding between the Trinamool and SP."
Asked by reporters if his party would join the UPA, Mulayam said: "There is no question of it."
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