By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 6: UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee is on a two-day visit to the Northeast to meet members of the electoral college as part of his country-wide campaign for the July 19 presidential election.
As part of his Northeast visit, Mukherjee met Congress party legislators and leaders of other small regional parties from the northeastern States in Guwahati on Friday and sought their support for his presidential endeavour.
Mukherjee was received at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport here by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Assam Pradesh Congress president Bhubaneswar Kalita.
Interacting with reporters after attending two meetings with some of the Congress chief ministers, party legislators and partners in the Congress-led government in Assam, the UPA Presidential candidate said, “I hope Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress will extend its support to me. The party is yet to decide the candidate for whom it will vote. But the Trinamool members will cast their votes.”
Mukherjee drove to a city hotel where he held discussions with the Assam Chief Minister, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla along with senior party leaders. He also interacted with the MLAs and MPs of the Northeast belonging to the Congress and UPA constituents at the Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra here.
In the evening, he met leaders of Assam’s main opposition party, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), an UPA constituent, and the Congress’s State coalition partner, Bodoland People’s Front (BPF). The AIUDF and BPF leaders assured Mukherjee of their support for his presidential race.
“I visited Assam several times earlier as a minister and also not as a minister. But this time, I am visiting Assam as a presidential candidate, seeking the support of party colleagues,” Mukherjee told reporters
On the issue of debate among the presidential aspirants like in the countries of the US and France as raised by a section of political leaders in India, he said that the system of presidential election in the US and France is totally different from India. “In India, the president has no executive power, but in the US and France, it is just the opposite. The presidential voting pattern is also different in those countries. So, the issue of debate in the Indian presidential poll does not arise at all,” he said.
Mukherjee is likely to visit the famous Kamakhya Temple here on Saturday and later to Tripura.