New Delhi: United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate Pranab Mukherjee Thursday filed his nomination for the July 19 presidential poll and sought the “blessing of god and cooperation of all” to get elected to the country’s highest office.
In what was turned into a show of strength, leaders of most UPA allies, except for the Trinamool Congress, were present. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RSD) Lalu Prasad were amongst those who witnessed the ceremony.
“I only wish at this time that we have the blessing of god and cooperation of all at this juncture,” Mukherjee told reporters after filing his nomination at the Rajya Sabha secretariat.
As a candidate for the 14th presidential election, he said he was being supported by a “large number of parties who are supporting UPA government like Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party” as well as by other parties who did not support the government.
Listing the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Shiv Sena, he said: “I am grateful to them as they have reposed faith in me to occupy the office which was occupied in past by great stalwarts of this country.”
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Ajit Singh, Lok Janshakti Party’s Ram Vilas Paswan, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, Indian Union Muslim League’s E. Ahmed and senior DMK leaders were amongst the other leaders present on the occasion.
Cabinet ministers P. Chidambaram and Pawan Kumar Bansal, who is Mukherjee’s election agent, were also present.
Opposition candidate P.A. Sangma, who is supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party, the AIADMK and the Biju Janata Dal, is expected to file his nomination in the afternoon.
The filing of nominations marks the formal start of the race for presidency, in which Mukherjee appears to have a clear edge over Sangma.
The scrutiny of the nominations will be done on July 2, the last date for withdrawal is July 4, the poll will take place July 19 and counting of votes will be on July 22.