Hyderabad: Seeking to broaden his support base in the electoral college, UPA Presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday appealed to political parties, including Trinamool Congress which are still undecided on the election for the President, to back his candidature.

"I am appealing to all those who have not yet decided to take decision in my favour, in favour of UPA," Mukherjee told reporters here, after an interaction with the ruling Congress MPs, MLAs, MLCs in Andhra Pradesh.

Victory ensured

He expressed gratitude to partners of UPA (Trinamool Congress is yet to announce its decision though it is part of the ruling coalition at the Centre), Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, which support UPA from outside, and parties opposed to UPA like CPI(M), Forward Block, JD (U) and Shiv Sena for supporting his candidature.

Still undecided

Opposition parties like Telugu Desam, TRS and YSR Congress of Kadapa MP Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy are yet to announce their decision on whom to support in the presidential election.

Pranab’s campaign enter second day

Mukherjee, who launched his campaign in Chennai on Saturday after meeting MLAs, MPs of Congress and UPA allies like DMK, interacted with the Congress legislators here during a short visit to the Andhra Pradesh capital.




Gathering support

Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, in charge of Congress affairs in Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, state Congress president Botsa Satyanarayana, Union Ministers M M Pallam Raju and D Purandeswari were among those present on the occasion.

City-based Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) legislators met Mukherjee at a five-star hotel after his meeting with the Congress leaders, sources said. MIM is a part of UPA.

I do not believe in miracles

On the comments of Opposition-backed presidential nominee P A Sangma's comments that a miracle may also happen to see him through, Mukherjee said, "I do not know. I do not believe in miracles. I do not know whether any miracle may happen or not."

The 77-year-old former Union Finance Minister said he would like to tour as many state capitals as possible till July 15.

Fire at Pranab’s meeting venue

Meanwhile, a fire broke out in the Jubilee Hall, the venue of the meeting of Mukherjee with legislators, soon after the top leaders left.

Several legislators, mediapersons and others, who were present inside the hall, came out as plumes of smoke billowed. Few fire tenders rushed to the spot and the blaze was quickly doused.

Protest against Pranab

Meanwhile, supporters for a separate Telangana held minor protests near the Jubilee Hall and also the hotel where Mukherjee put up.

They alleged that Mukherjee, who headed a Cabinet sub-committee on the separate statehood issue, is opposed to the demand.

In his address to the Congress legislators, Mukherjee appreciated Andhra Pradesh as being "large-hearted and broad-minded".

AP CM seeks report on fire incident

Taking a serious note of the fire accident in Jubilee Hall, Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has asked Principal Secretary (Political) Ajay Mishra to personally inquire into the incident and submit a report immediately, a release from the CMO said.

State Civil Supplies Minister D Sridhar Babu, Legislative Council Chairman A Chakrapani, several other leaders and top officials inspected the site of the accident.

"The fire started as a spark occurred in the AC unit at the roof. Smoke billowed out due to the tar sheet and thermo-coal though the fire was minor. This building was built way back in 1936 (in Nizam era). Periodic checks are being conducted. We will obtain full information on why the broke out. There is no trouble for the building," Sridhar Babu said.


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