New Delhi: Just before the Presidential poll, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday finally announced to back Pranab Mukherjee’s candidature for the President post.

Addressing media in Kolkata she said, “We don’t have any choice but to vote for Pranab Mukherjee.”

“We wanted APJ Kalam for the prestigious post but many couldn’t accept him,” TMC chief said.

“If we don’t vote, it will be a waste,” she added.

According to sources, President-in-waiting Pranab Mukherjee has welcomed Mamata’s decision to back him.

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Pranab to leave Sangma way behind

With Trinamool Congress extending support to the UPA candidate in the Presidential poll, Pranab Mukherjee is likely to garner close to seven lakh vote value leaving his rival P A Sangma way behind in what appears to be a highly one-sided contest.

Mukherjee is assured of support from parties which have a vote value of around seven lakh while Sangma has around 3.15 lakh vote value in an electoral college of 10,98,882.

If all the votes are polled, one needs to get 5,49,422 vote value for a win.

Opposition-backed Sangma was always behind in the electoral arithmetic as NDA allies JD(U) and Shiv Sena broke ranks with BJP to support Mukherjee.

The supporters of 77-year-old former Finance Minister include Samajwadi Party, BSP, CPI-M, Forward Bloc and JD-S among others.

With the support of SP (66,688 vote value), BSP (45,473), JD-U (40,737), Shiv Sena (18,495), JD-S (6,138) and CPI-M and Forward Bloc (around 41,000), Mukherjee can expect vote share of about seven lakh.

The number game was not in Sangma's favour as NDA strength has been reduced to 2.43 lakh after JD-U and Shiv Sena extended support to his rival. However, with AIADMK (36,920 vote value) and BJD (30,125) backing, his votes will rise to 3.10 lakh.

The electoral college for the July 19 poll comprises 4,896 members -- 776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs -- who have a vote value of 10.98 lakh. If all the votes are polled, a candidate who gets more than 5,49,442 votes will be declared winner.

(JPN/Agencies)

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