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I am ALWAYS outspoken, that's my minus point: Mamata

Last updated on: May 21, 2012 13:43 IST

'I will be very happy to see Meira Kumar as President'

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In an interview with CNN-IBN, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seemed reluctant to embrace Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as her party's choice for the post of the President.

Who does the Trinamool Congress chief favour for the top post?

Read on to find out...

On who will be the next President of India:

"That I do not know, but I will be very happy to see (Lok Sabha Speaker) Meira Kumar or (former West Bengal governor) Gopal Gandhi or even (former President) APJ Abdul Kalam. These three names are better, I think so."
 
On Pranab Mukherjee:

"Is he the son of Bengal? He may be the son of the world. I don't think so but it is his choice.  I don't know."

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Image: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
Photographs: Reuters

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'It is the Congress party's decision'

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On Pranab Mukherjee not being in Mamata Banerjee's wish-list for the post of President:

"No, I didn't say that but if the country allows him, who am I to oppose it?
 
"It depends on the majority, it is a democratic country. He is the finance minister. For Pranab Mukherjee, I am very much sincere; about this I am very much serious.

"It is the Congress party's decision. Who will be the candidate, we cannot say. I cannot interfere in the Congress party's business, it's not my prerogative. But if you ask me about my party's choice or personal choice, then I will say I love Meira Kumar. She is a soft-spoken lady from a Scheduled Caste community.

"Even I love Gopal Gandhi, he is a very good man also. He is a man of integrity. If you ask me, APJ Abdul Kalam was a very good President too. He was the choice of all the parties."

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Image: Mamata Banerjee with Congress president Sonia Gandhi
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters

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'I have good relations with Soniaji, Manmohanji'

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On Trinamool's relationship with the Congress in the state:

"I have good relations with my ministers who are working with me. I maintain good relations with them and they also maintain good relations with me. I should not mislead you about what is the truth. I am always outspoken and sometimes that's why it is my minus point also.

"And at Delhi level, of course, I have good relations with Soniaji, Manmohanji. I have a good relationship with them, I want this government to continue for five years but if the government says no, I don't want to, then what can I do, as a small party what can we do? We are ready for anything".

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Image: Mamata Banerjee with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

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'We have some issues with the Congress'

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On withdrawing support from the United Progressive Alliance:

"No, not until and unless they say you get out from here. We have some issues which we will deal with."
 
On teaming up with the Congress for the 2014 Lok Sabha election:

"I cannot say whether tomorrow I will die or not. I am not a political astrologer, but if they want to keep good relations, then we will continue to do that. This time, they are fighting the municipality elections alone."

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Image: Trinamool supporters with posters of Mamata Banerjee
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

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