Mamata Banerjee's attempt to turn the Presidential race into a troublesome affair for Congress suffered a setback on Friday with her key ally, Samajwadi Party, declaring that it was against any attempt to destabilise the government when the country was facing a serious financial crisis.
"At this stage, when the country is facing a serious financial crisis, making any attempt to destabilise the government and creating political instability will be hurtful to the nation," SP Vice President Mohan Singh told PTI.
Declaring that SP will never support NDA's candidate in the Presidential poll, he asked, "How could we support NDA (National Democratic Alliance) led by BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and communal forces...How can NDA be a secular force as long as Narendra Modi is there?"
He said that SP was with UPA as it was "led by secular forces".
"That is why we are tolerating this government for the last three years without taking any share in power. Except in matters of corruption and rising prices, we are with UPA," he said, adding that on these two issues, SP will oppose the UPA tooth and nail.
Mohan Singh claimed that three candidates announced by Trinamool Congress chief for the Presidential poll are unlikely to contest as Somnath Chatterjee has expressed surprise over the development and A P J Abdul Kalam wants to be a consensus candidate.
"Without getting their prior consent, Mamata has announced their names," Singh said, adding that SP will decide on the issue of support in the Presidential election after UPA and NDA announce their candidates.
Seeking to mollify Trinamool Congress, Singh said that SP was "100 per cent with Mamata and will stay with her".
At the same time, he said it was "our duty" to tell Mamata that "the country is in great crisis and any move to destabilise the government is not fair".