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'Govt will be lame duck without super power Pranab'

Last updated on: July 1, 2012 00:25 IST

'Govt will be lame duck without super power Pranab'

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Having declared his party's support for Pranab Mukherjee in the Presidential poll, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Saturday described him as a "super power" in Congress and said the Opposition should be happy as with his election, the government will become a "lame duck".

"Mukherjee is a super power in the Manmohan Singh government and because of his shift to the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the government is going to become a lame duck. That is why opposition parties should be most happy as he is going to Rashtrapati Bhawan," Thackeray said in an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamna.

Thackeray, whose party chose to break ranks with Nationalist Democratic Alliance ally Bharatiya Janata Party to back United Progressive Alliance's nominee Mukherjee, praised the Congress veteran, saying he has the "ability to take the right decisions".

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Image: Pranab Mukherjee
Photographs: Dipak Chakraborty/Rediff.com

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'Pranab no less than a nuclear bomb'

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"Keeping in mind the present unstable scenario (in the country) and the chaos, anarchy in the future, we decided to support Pranab as we are confident that only he can overcome the situation and has the ability to take the right decisions," Thackeray said.

In an apparent reference to former President A P J Abdul Kalam, who spurned Trinamool Congress' offer to be its Presidential nominee for lack of consensus, Thackeray said Mukherjee may not be a "missile man", but is no less than a "nuclear bomb".

"Pranab may not be a missile man but his vast experience is no less than any nuclear bomb. Anyway, despite our having the nuclear bomb, Afzal Guru did attack Parliament.

Now, Pranab babu should be given the opportunity to tighten the hangman's noose around Afzal's neck," he said.

Thackeray said Mukherjee was denied the post of prime minister or President all these years because he was not "subservient".

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'Mukherjee has snapped ties with the Congress'

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Maintaining that Mukherjee's victory was "certain", the Shiv Sena patriarch said none of the two candidates in the race -- Mukherjee and BJP-backed P A Sangma -- could win the election without "borrowed support".

"Neither Mukherjee nor P A Sangma has the ability to get elected on his own or on their party strength alone. That is why the poll is being contested on borrowed support," he said.

"When Pranab went to file nominations, he was accompanied by Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad, Ramvilas Paswan, T R Balu. But the Maths isn't that just because these people are with him, he will win and go to Rashtrapati Bhawan. His victory is certain only because of the open-hearted support given by Shiv Sena and JD-U," Thackeray said.

He said Shiv Sena and JD-U had decided to support Mukherjee as he was a veteran and an administrator with a balanced outlook, whose presence in the Rashtrapati Bhavan will "only benefit the country".

"Mukherjee has snapped ties with the Congress. He is the Presidential candidate and he can win. Our support is limited only to him (and not Congress or UPA)," Thackeray said.

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Image: Bal Thackeray


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