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Updated: July 1, 2012 22:18 IST

Pranab seeks support of parties which are still undecided

Special Correspondent
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Recalls how V. V. Giri and N. Sanjeeva Reddy from AP had held the post of President with aplomb

UPA’s Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday appealed to the political parties, which are yet to take a stand on the upcoming polls, to back his candidature.

Mr. Mukherjee, who launched his election campaign for the highest constitutional office from Chennai on Saturday, addressed a meeting of Congress legislators and MPs at the Jubilee Hall here seeking their support. Addressing a large gathering of elected representatives of the ruling party, he said: “I am honoured by the Congress which nominated me for the high post. I thank the party leadership, UPA allies, Samajwadi Party, BSP, Shiv Sena and Janata Dal (U) for extending support.”

Association with AP

Those parties which are still undecided on their choice should take a decision at the earliest and support him, he said. Mr. Mukherjee recalled how eminent persons had adorned the office of the President. “From Andhra Pradesh, V. V. Giri and Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy held the high post with aplomb,” he remarked.

Recalling his association with the State, he said, “I visited Andhra Pradesh on official visits and party work in the past. But this time, I am here to seek your votes for my victory,” he said.

Union Minister and AICC leader-in-charge of AP affairs Ghulam Nabi Azad and Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy hailed Mr. Mukherjee as a statesman and economist. Recalling the services he rendered to the party as well as the Government, they hoped that Mr. Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would take the country to great heights.

Protest at hotel

Later, addressing a press conference, Mr. Mukherjee sought the support of parties, which were undecided on their stand in the Presidential election, to support his candidature.

A host of Congress leaders called on Mr. Mukherjee who made a brief halt at the Taj Krishna hotel en route Bangalore. Among them were Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarsimha, Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar, senior party leaders T. Subbarami Reddy, Gade Venkata Reddy, Paladugu Venkata Rao, a delegation of MIM legislators, and a team of Telangana Congress leaders.

The visit was, however, marked by a token protest by pro-Telangana activists at the airport as well as the hotel. The police had to use mild force to disperse the gathering.

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