Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said on Friday that she would not deviate from her stand on the Presidential candidate and that the game was not over yet.
Reacting to a flurry of questions from the media just as she was leaving the State Secretariat for the day, Ms. Banerjee said : “Whatever I have to say, I will say tomorrow, this is not a press conference. I will not speak a word more, but none should think that the game is over.”
Ms. Banerjee added that whatever had been announced, the party would stick to it.
“The President's office is an important post. Don't divide and rule. All should support Kalam. He is our candidate,” Ms. Banerjee said in New Delhi.
Ms. Banerjee claimed that Mr. Kalam announced on Friday morning that he would be contesting. “It is good. We thank him. We congratulate him in advance. Kalam is an asset. He can glorify India. He is a popular candidate. If there is a direct election to Presidential office like in America, he will be number one,” she said.
Asked if she thought Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had done a U-turn and she felt betrayed, she said: “He is a political leader and I cannot make any comments like this.”
Earlier, on her arrival at the Secretariat after camping for two days in New Delhi, Ms. Banerjee had told her aides that her party would stick to Mr. Kalam as the party felt that he was the fittest candidate for the post. The party would not be shifting from its earlier choice of Presidential candidate, as he was a man of high stature and respected internationally, she added.
On reports of the Samajwadi Party chief extending his support to Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, she said that she could not comment on that as the party had not got in touch with her.