» News » Prez poll: CPI-M to back Pranab, CPI, RSP to abstain

Prez poll: CPI-M to back Pranab, CPI, RSP to abstain

Source: PTI
June 21, 2012 18:36 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Left parties were on Thursday divided on the Presidential election with the Communist Party of India-Marxist and Forward Bloc deciding to support United Progressive Alliance candidate Pranab Mukherjee while the Communist Party of India and Revolutionary Socialist Party opting to abstain from the voting.

The four parties could not arrive at a consensus at an hour-long meeting here this evening attended by top leaders of the parties, CPI-M's including Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury, A B Bardhan of the CPI, T J Chandrachoodan of the RSP and Forward Bloc's Debabrata Biswas.

"Two parties have declared they will support Pranab Mukherjee, two parties have decided they will abstain," Bardhan told the media without elaborating.

Karat said his party has decided to support the candidature of 77-year-old Mukherjee as "in the present situation, he is the candidate for the post of President with the widest possible acceptance".

The CPI-M leader said support to Mukherjee did not mean backing for the Congress and that his party will "resolutely fight" the "anti-people" policies of the UPA government.

Forward Bloc General Secretary Debabrata Biswas said his party was not in favour of abstaining from the voting slated for July 19 for which the battle lines have been drawn between Mukherjee and P A Sangma.

RSP General Secretary T J Chandrachoodan said his party will abstain from the voting.

Bardhan said the Left parties will remain united though they are taking different stands on Presidential poll issue.

"As far as the Left Front is concerned, it will continue as ever, it will continue to be united as ever. This is only one single incident where there is a difference of opinion, a slight difference of opinion. We will continue our movements and struggles jointly," he said.

The CPI-M's decision to support Mukherjee came after a
meeting of the party's polit bureau on Thursday morning in which the senior leaders deliberated on the issue.

Sources said one section of the party was for abstaining
from the poll while another was for supporting Mukherjee. The section advocating abstention was of the view that they could not be seen voting for a Congress candidate. They said
Mukherjee had reached out to Karat on Tuesday
seeking his party's support but the CPI-M leader had not given

any commitment. Mukherjee had telephoned Karat as part of the Congress exercise to get support from non-UPA parties.

Left parties account for around 51,000 vote value in the
electoral college of 10.98 lakh vote value.

During the Left meeting, Forward Bloc backed Mukherjee,
saying he has earned the "widest possible acceptance" and that it wanted to drive a "wedge" between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress. The party has two members of Parliament and 12 members of Legislative Assembly.

G Deverajan, national secretary of Forward Bloc, told PTI
that the Left parties had earlier decided that the candidate should have the "widest possible acceptance" and in the present context, the Congress veteran has got support from the political spectrum.

"Mukherjee has support from all sides. The UPA is behind it. The NDA allies Shiv Sena and JD(U) are in his favour. Two non-UPA, non-NDA parties, BSP and SP are supporting him. Now he has the widest possible acceptance," Deverajan said.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: PTI© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.