Do not bring Prez poll to ordinary level: Pranab

Ranchi: UPA Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee today asked political parties not to bring the campaign down to the level of ordinary poll, a day after his opponent BJP-backed nominee P A Sangma appealed for votes on the plank of tribal identity.

"I have appealed to all political parties not to bring the campaign to the level of ordinary elections because presidential election has its own significance and stature," Mukherjee said in an apparent reference to Sangma playing the tribal card during his visit here on Wednesday. Sangma had said he was sure that legislators from tribal-dominated Jharkhand would vote for him as he was a tribal.

In another apparent reference to Sangma saying whips of political parties carry no weight in Presidential elections, Mukherjee said it was expected that members of parties would go by their parties` decisions. "Please remember that in this election, members of the electoral college, (are) almost 99 percent are of party nominees (legislators), besides the independents," he said. "So, with (political) parties taking a decision, it is expected that the members will go along party lines," Mukherjee said at a press conference here.

Stating that there was nothing wrong in campaigning, the veteran leader said he had also come here to campaign, "But you have to keep this (not bringing the campaign down to ordinary level) in mind." Mukherjee, who was received by RJD chief Lalu Prasad and LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan at BNR Hotel, was here to meet JMM Supremo Shibu Soren and Ajsu party president and Deputy Chief Minister Sudesh Mahto and other legislators.