Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday clarified that the JD(U)'s support to the UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee in the presidential polls was in appreciation of his stature as a seasoned and respected political leader with vast experience and not to the Congress.

"Mukherjee is a seasoned and respected political leader with vast experience and hails from neighbouring West Bengal and the JD(U) decided to support him in the presidential polls due to these twin reasons," he told reporters here.

Our neighbouring state (West Bengal) has never had a person donning the top constitutional or executive post ever and Mukherjee's election as the next president will fulfil the aspiration of the people of that state, Kumar said, adding that it was matter of pride to us and our people that a representative from the neighbouring state will grace the top constitutional post.

"I hope that upon assuming the post of the president, Mukherjee will visit Bihar as his first tour to any state," he said.

The Chief Minister clarified that the support to Mukherjee in the presidential polls was to him alone and not to the Congress party.

Kumar said that he and his party stood for election by consensus for the top political post of the country, but once consensus eluded, they decided to back Mukherjee's candidature in appreciation of his stature.

He also denied that there was any quid pro quo with the Centre for supporting the UPA nominee's candidature in the presidential polls.

(Agencies)

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