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Prez polls: Pranab launches campaign; meets Karunanidhi, RJD backs him

NEW DELHI, June 30 (Agencies): Calling DMK a “stable partner” of UPA, the alliance`s Presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee today launched his campaign from Tamil Nadu even as he got the support of RJD that expanded his support base.

Not giving up hopes on getting the backing of Trinamool Congress, Mukherjee also said he was seeking the support of those political parties who are yet to declare their choice.

The RJD legislature party decided unanimously to vote for Mukherjee, its national president Lalu Prasad said in Patna.

The Congress stalwart`s rival and Opposition-backed Presidential candidate P A Sangma, who will launch his campaign from his home town of Tura in Meghalaya, counted on “vote by conscience” in the July 19 elections in which the Congress stalwart appears set for a victory.

The former finance minister, who enjoys a close rapport with Karunanidhi having been the emissary of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on many an occasion, met the ruling alliance`s key partner DMK President M Karunanidhi at his CIT Nagar residence in Chennai to formally kickstart the campaign.

“DMK is a stable partner of UPA-I and UPA II. Therefore, it is quite natural, that I have started my campaign with the blessings and support of Dr Karunanidhi and from Chennai itself…”, Mukherjee told reporters ahead of his meeting with MPs and MLAs of the Congress and other UPA allies.

Mukherjee said apart from UPA, Samajwadi Party, BSP, CPI(M), Forward Bloc, JDU and Shiv Sena have extended their support to his candidature.

“I am seeking the support of those political parties who have not yet declared their choice for the Presidential election..”, he said in remarks apparently aimed at getting the support of West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee.

Sangma said he expected miracles to see him through.

“I am a tribal leader and a Christian and believe in miracles and hope that this will go in my favour”, the former Lok Sabha Speaker said in Guwahati.

But Mukherjee said, “There is no scope of any miracle happening. After all it is a matter of numbers. Therefore, there is no question of any miracle. I do not believe in any miracle”.



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