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Pranab will wait till Mamata is ready to talk

Another day full of expectation came to nought when Pranab Mukherjee, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate for the president's post, said that he was ready to talk to the Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee only when she would be ready.

Meeting reporters in the West Bengal assembly, Mukherjee said, 'I am ready to talk to her as and when she is ready to talk to me. Since my candidature was announced, I have expressed my desire to have the support of the partner of the UPA Trinamool Congress. I understand they have not yet taken a decision. They will take their decision at an appropriate time.'

Banerjee, from the beginning, has announced her reluctance to vote for Mukherjee, who, as the finance minister, did not concede her demand of a three-year moratorium on the high interest paid by West Bengal on loans. Banerjee has not spelt out yet where the Trinamool Congress's share of 4.3 per cent votes of the electoral college will go.

Meanwhile, an irked cabinet minister Subrata Mukherjee quipped that Pranab is 'more comfortable talking with CPM'. Another minister in the Mamata Banerjee government Firhad Hakim quipped that if indeed Pranab Mukherjee was asking for votes, he should have approached 'all political parties', including the TMC.

Mukherjee met MPs and MLAs of the CPI(M) and the Forward Bloc on Monday morning. At that meeting he reportedly said that he would also write to UPA allies who are yet to announce their choice to support him for the presidential election.
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