West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee will be attending the swearing-in of Pranab Mukherjee as the next President in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Ms. Banerjee, who had reservations over Mr. Mukherjee’s candidature for the top post and announced less than 48 hours before the poll the “painful” decision of her party to vote for him, congratulated Mr. Mukherjee on his victory over the telephone on Sunday afternoon.
Expressing his gratitude, Mr. Mukherjee requested her to be present at the oath-taking function. Ms. Banerjee assured him that she would be there, Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh told The Hindu.
Ms. Banerjee will be leaving for the Capital on July 24 evening and will be returning here the next day.
There were unconfirmed reports that during their telephonic talk, Mr. Mukherjee told Ms. Banerjee that his victory would have been incomplete without her support.
Mr. Ghosh merely said, “One hears so but I cannot confirm it.”
Ms. Banerjee had earlier asked Mr. Mukherjee to visit West Bengal after winning the Presidential election when the latter called her on July 17 to thank her for the Trinamool decision to vote for him.
Among others who called up Mr. Mukherjee and congratulated him was his son Abhijit, Congress MLA from Nalhati.
He expressed his gratitude on behalf of his father and family to those who had voted for Mr. Mukherjee “across the country, across party lines.”He had a special word of thanks for Congress president Sonia Gandhi and All-India Congress Committee general secretary and MP Rahul Gandhi.
He described Ms. Gandhi as “the most important person who took the decision” to nominate his father as the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) nominee for the Presidential election and who “made it possible to convince other UPA leaders and other Congress leaders that Mr. Mukherjee would be the suitable, winnable candidate for the UPA.”
He added he was grateful to UPA leaders “including Mamataji who, at the last moment, took the right decision to support him.”