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Fair, square contest, UPA will win: HM on Prez poll

Thiruvananthapuram: The contest for the Presidential post is "fair and square" with UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee all set to win but a unanimous election would have been the "right thing", Home Minister P Chidambaram today said.

He also praised the CPI-M for its "wise decision" to back Mukherjee in the Presidential race. "It is a very wise decision. I congratulate the CPI-M for its support to the UPA candidate. I think they recognised that Mukherjee is the candidate with the largest measure of support," he told reporters here.

Replying to question about CPI-M backing Mukherjee, he said the Marxist party wisely decided that it was in the national inerest to support such a candidate rather than divide the polity.

"We would have been happy if all parties had supported Mukherjee and get him elected unopposed once it became clear that he has about 65 per cent support…. which is expected to go up to 70 per cent," he said.

The right thing was to elect the President unanimously and if the other the 30 per cent had fallen in line and extended support to Mukherjee that would have been the best thing for the country, he said, adding "Doesn`t matter it will be a fair and square contest. We shall win it."

To a question on rating performance of UPA-I and II, he said, "UPA I completed five years. I would rate it 10 out of 10. UPA II has completed only three years. So I will rate it 6 out of 10. But it will get 8 and 10 by the time we complete the term," he added.

Chidambaram along with cabinet colleagues Ambika Soni and Salman Khurshid were in the Kerala capital as part of the UPA Government`s decision to highlight its achievments and counter the opposition campaign against it.

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