Wed, 18 Jul 2012 08:50:01 GMT | By IANS

Trinamool takes 'painful' decision to back Pranab

Kolkata: In a U-turn, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Tuesday said her party will vote for UPA's Pranab Mukherjee in Thursday's presidential battle. She called the decision 'painful' and that she was left with no other option.

Trinamool to support Pranab for president

"We have decided to support Pranab Mukherjee keeping in mind the alliance we have with the Congress," a sombre Banerjee told the media after a meeting of her party's senior MPs and legislators.

Mukherjee told journalists: "I welcome this decision."

Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said this would further strengthen Mukherjee's candidature. But the BJP demanded to know the "compulsions" behind Banerjee's dramatic U-turn.

The West Bengal chief minister said she had informed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the decision. She added that UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi was "well aware of her mind".

"In the interest of the people, democracy ... we have decided to vote for him."

In comments that made it clear that she was miffed with Mukherjee, she called the decision "painful and tough".

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