The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and its rival Samajwadi Party (SP)
extended supports to UPA's presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah too extended his
support to Pranab Da tweeting him a congratulatory message.
Announcing her party stand at the
state party office in Lucknow, BSP supremo Mayawati told reporters
that the party had made up its mind to favour Mukherjee as he was
the "best suited candidate" for the top constitutional post.
"Of all the names offered so far, Pranab Mukherjee is the best
suited for the presidency and my party has decided to extend its
full support to his candidature," Mayawati said.
She said UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh had telephoned her a few minutes back, seeking her support
for Mukherjee. "I have told both leaders that the BSP would
support Pranab Mukherjee in the race for the presidency," Mayawati
She, however, added that her party's support for the UPA
presidential candidate was merely based on "values and political
The BSP would continue to oppose the anti-people policies of the
UPA, she said adding that: "We are against the economic policies
of the UPA and our opposition to them would continue."
'Samajwadi Party backs Pranab'
Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal
Yadav also announced his party's support to UPA presidential
candidate Pranab Mukherjee.
"SP will support him," Yadav said. "We will pray for his victory."
The announcement by the SP leader is
surprising as it was till yesterday giving a list of few other
names for the top constitutional post.
'Omar tweets Pranab Da'
Within minutes of the announcement of Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee being the ruling UPA's presidential candidate, Jammu and
Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah congratulated him through a
"Congratulations to Pranab Da. I have no doubt he will make an
excellent president & I'm pleased to have been able to commit NC's
support," Abdullah said in a message on his Twitter page Friday.
Abdullah hoped former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, whose name was
proposed by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi
Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, does not contest.
"For what it's worth I hope former President #Kalam does not fall
prey to the petty politics being played out. I hope he doesn't
contest," he said in another tweet.
He also took a dig at Banerjee. "And finally before I take off
back to Srinagar a final thought - how on earth will Mamata
explain opposing a Bengali for President?"
Congress president Sonia Gandhi made the formal announcement after
a meeting of her party and its allies, saying Mukherjee had to his
credit a "long and distinguished record of public service for five
She said he enjoyed broad support for holding the country's top
The UPA also appealed to all political parties, MPs and members of
state assemblies to extend support for Mukherjee's candidature.
The presidential election will take place July 19.