Trinamool Congress chairperson and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee received on Sunday a letter from Pranab Mukherjee, nominee of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for President, seeking her support for his candidature.
Interestingly Ms. Banerjee, acknowledged receipt of the letter on Facebook but described Mr. Mukherjee as “the Presidential candidate, 2011” avoiding any reference to the former Union Finance Minister being a nominee of the UPA.
The letter reached Ms. Banerjee six days after Mr. Mukherjee had said here that he was “ready to talk to her [Ms Banerjee] as and when she is ready”— a remark that was construed by political observers as a snub to the Trinamool chief amid her reservations of his candidature.
The letter, dated July 2, to Ms. Banerjee was one Mr. Mukherjee sent to all MPs seeking their support for the July 19 elections.
That it could have been worded differently considering it was being sent to the party’s chairperson — and may not have gone down well with the Trinamool Congress the way it was — was evident in a tweet by party MP Derek O’Brien.
“….Like the letter addressed to all 800 MPs the letter to Mamatadi opens with the line ‘Dear friend’…..” tweeted Mr. O’Brien. And then, after questioning the “personal touch” that was missing he went on to say, “Not titles... Just a thought….He [Mr. Mukherjee] should have used her [Ms. Banerjee’s] name to address her.”
Mr. O’Brien’s tweet makes a point mentioning that Mr. Mukherjee’s letter was sent to “…Chairperson of the second largest party in UPA II…”
In his letter, Mr. Mukherjee asserts that the “President stands above the party politics” and goes on to add: “The passage of a nation’s life can never be continuously even and free from disputation. This makes it imperative that we set aside differences and unite to serve the nation that is our life.”
Mr. Mukherjee also says that he is “honoured that the UPA and its supporting parties, along with other parties and individuals considered me worthy of the office of President of India.”
As for the Trinamool it will be making public its stand on the Presidential election by July 18.