Pranab in Odisha to seek support

July 11th, 2012 - 8:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee Bhubaneswar, July 11 (IANS) United Progressive Alliance presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee arrived in Odisha Wednesday evening to gather support for himself in the July 19 election to the high post.

State Congressmen gave a rousing welcome to the former finance minister as he arrived at the Biju Patnaik Airport here.

Party leaders who welcomed Mukherjee at the airport included state Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Srikant Jena, All India Congress Committee general secretary and Odisha in-charge Jagdish Tytler and the state assembly’s Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh.

Mukherjee drove to the Congress office to address party legislators and MPs from the state. Several tribal Congress workers attired in tribal costumes performed dances and welcomed him with beating of drums.

His campaign in Odisha for the July 19 presidential election carries significance as the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has announced support for his rival and former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is also the chief of the BJD, was the first to announce the name of Sangma in May for the high post.

The Congress has only 27 members in the state’s 147-member assembly. It also claims to have support of two independent legislators. It has from the state six members in the Lok Sabha and one in the Rajya Sabha.

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