Pranab appeals to all Andhra parties to support him (Lead)

July 1st, 2012 - 6:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee Hyderabad, July 1 (IANS) Presidential candidate of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Pranab Mukherjee Sunday appealed to all parties in Andhra Pradesh to support his candidature.

He addressed Congress MPs and state legislators and met leaders of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), an ally of UPA, seeking their support.

Mukherjee, however, did not meet leaders of the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) to seek their support.

TDP, TRS and YSRCP have not yet announced their stand on the presidential polls.

Addressing the Congress legislators at the historic Jubilee Hall, Mukherjee appealed to all voters in the electoral college from Andhra Pradesh to extend their wholehearted support to him.

The veteran leader noted that even non-UPA parties were supporting him. “I feel honoured to contest for the high office of the president of India,” he told the meeting.

Congress general secretary and in charge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad and Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy recalled Mukherjee’s services.

A minor fire broke out at Jubilee Hall shortly after Mukherjee left the place after addressing the Congress legislators.

MIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi and other party leaders called on Mukherjee at Taj Krishna. MIM, which has one MP and seven legislators, has already declared its support to UPA candidate.

There was mild tension near the hotel when pro-Telangana supporters staged a protest. Police arrested the workers of Mala Mahanadu, who raised the slogans of “Jai Telangana”.

Earlier, a similar protest greeted Mukherjee soon after his arrival at Begumpet airport in the morning. Protesters tried to stop his convoy but police foiled their attempt.

The protesters belonging to various pro-Telangana groups wanted Mukherjee to spell out his stand on the demand for statehood to Telangana.

After a four-hour stay to Hyderabad, Mukherjee left for Bangalore in the afternoon to campaign there.

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