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Prez poll: Mamata will take appropriate decision

Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar today expressed the confidence that Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee would take an "appropriate" decision on the issue of Pranab Mukherjee as Presidential poll candidate.

"West Bengal is getting an opportunity to have a President for the first time. I am sure she will take and appropriate decision. She always talks of Bengal pride. She should take decisions accordingly", Pawar told reporters here. Mukherjee, he said, will win the presidential poll by a comfortable margin. Pawar said he was happy that "everyone has responded" to make Mukherjee a consensus presidential candidate of UPA.

"The Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi had personally spoken to leaders of all political parties to eveolve a consensus on Pranab Mukherjee…this exercise was on for over a month…I am happy that everyone reponded, including SP and BSP," Pawar told NDTV in Pune. Asked if there would be more of Pawar as crisis manager after Mukherjee`s elevation to the top post, the NCP chief said his "hands are full" and that his priority is to ensure that agriculture does well to improve the economy.

In the backdrop of the hardening of stance by NCP against its leader P A Sangma if he persisted with his proposal to contest the Presidential election, Pawar said "we will be meeting on June 21. We will convince Sangma not to contest. He is our senior leader…we are hopeful he will listen to us." He ruled out mid-term elections, saying the UPA-2 will complete its full term.

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