Mamata logs on to Facebook to canvass for Kalam

June 16th, 2012 - 9:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, June 16 (IANS) Terming her support for A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for the president’s post as the “voice of millions of Indians”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday logged on to social networking site Facebook and appealed to users to come out in support of the former president.

Quoting a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, Banerjee in her first post on Facebook wrote: “I am a humble, transparent, common person like the vast majority of you. I gave voice to what millions of Indians want to see in a President. Abdul Kalam is a proud and distinguished son of India who continues to inspire all Indians.”

The irony of Banerjee’s appeal through Facebook is hard to miss as she had drawn the ire of the netizens by arresting a Jadavpur University professor for on-line circulation of cartoons involving Banerjee and Railway Minister Mukul Roy.

“He is the kind of man all our citizens aspire to make President. My party is a small party. We are led by truth and conviction. All through my life I have stood by my principles. I stand by the position I have taken,” wrote Banerjee.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the central government’s most reliable trouble shooter, was Friday named the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) candidate for the presidency and found backing from many political parties, including the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

On Wednesday, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh had, along with Banerjee, virtually rejected Mukherjee, whom Congress president Sonia Gandhi suggested for presidency during her talks with Banerjee.

The two parties had Wednesday named Kalam, former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as their three preferred candidates for president.

But Banerjee and Trinamool Congress were left red-faced after Mulayam Singh Friday did a U-turn, and announced he would support Mukherjee as the country’s president. But an unfazed Banerjee remained firm on her stand to support Kalam.

“In a democracy people’s will is supreme. I request all my fellow citizens to petition their public representatives to stand up, support and vote for Kalam. Let your voice be heard. I will bow to the will of the people,” she wrote.

A civil society rally prompted by a section of Trinamool leadership was taken out in the heart of the city with the demand of electing Kalam to the top post.

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