Kolkata: Union Finance Minister and United Progressive Alliance presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee, who arrived here on Friday night to a tumultuous welcome, appealed to parties who are yet to announce their decision to support him in the elections.

Mukherjee is pitted against Purno Sangma, who has the backing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and some other National Democratic Alliance (NDA) constituents, as also the AIADMK and the Biju Janata Dal.

"I urge those parties who are yet to announce their decision to support me," Mukherjee said outside his residence in South Kolkata's Dhakuria.

The Trinamool Congress, led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, is yet to announce its stand on the presidential choice after its preferred candidate, former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, declined to contest.

Mukherjee thanked parties like the Janata Dal-United, Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party for supporting him."Several parties including JD-U, SP and BSP have assured of their support to my candidature. I thank them for their support," he said.

Mukherjee, who flew into the city airport at 8.40 p.m., was received by about 2,500-3,000 Congress workers with bouquets and garlands.

In a cheerful mood, Mukherjee took the flowers from the activists and waved back to them before heading for his residence.

He is scheduled to leave for his village Mirati in Birbhum district on Saturday morning where he would attend a puja ceremony in his ancestral home. He will also seek blessings from elder sister Annapurna Banerjee, who lives in Parota village neighbouring Mirati.

Mukherjee is likely to hold a meeting with Congress workers on his return to Kolkata. He is slated to visit Belur Math, global headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission on Sunday morning before returning to Delhi.

(Agencies)

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