"We welcome the support declared by Mamata Banerjee to Pranab Mukherjee's candidature. We thank her for her Trinamool Congress' support in the Presidential poll. The Congress has always maintained that Mamata is a valuable ally," AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told the media.
"We hope and trust that the UPA will continue to get her support and cooperation in future also including for the vice presidential election," he added.
AICC's in-charge for West Bengal Shakeel Ahmed said that he is hopeful that Banerjee will also support the UPA in the vice presidential election.
"We were saying from the beginning that she will support us in the Presidential poll. This is a good development. Had we voted separately
in this poll, it would not have sent a good signal and unnecessarily put strains in our ties, which will not happen now," Ahmed said.
A beaming West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee chief Pradip Bhattacharya hailed the development as one that would herald a "new chapter" in the Congress-TMC ties.
Asked if the ties will substantially improve now, he said he hoped so but at the same time quipped, "You clap with both hands".
Ahmed utilised the occasion to advise restraint on the part of both parties during phases of provocation. "If there is any problem or hitch, we should solve it through discussions. Since we are in alliance, neither of the parties should take an issue to a point of no return," he said pointing out that Mukhkerjee never used any harsh word against the Trinamool Congress chief and even addressed her as his sister while making the appeal to vote for him.
Party spokesperson Manish Tewari said the TMC's support will further strengthen his election campaign and he will emerge victories with far greater majority.