New Delhi, June 21 (IBNS) Left Front is divided over lending support to Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for the post of President though the biggest left outfit Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said they would back Mukherjee.
The Communist Party of India (CPI) is abstaining.
"We will extend support to Pranab Mukherjee," said CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat told reporters in New Delhi.
Later the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) , which met here, in a press statement said the CPI(M) decided to support the candidature of Pranab Mukherjee.
"In the present situation, he is the candidate for the post of President who has the widest acceptance. The CPI(M) will continue to oppose the UPA government and resolutely fight neo-liberal economic policies being pursued which are against the interests of the people," it said.
After each party met, a Left Front meeting was held in New Delhi on Thursday.
While the CPI-M and Forward Bloc decided to support Mukherjee, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) said they would abstain from voting scheduled for July 19.
"We are not supporting Pranab Mukherjee. It is simply because their economic policies have almost ruined the country. They are the architect of the neo-liberal policies. We are abstaining from voting," CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta told IBNS.
CPI leader A B Bardhan earlier said each left party met and have taken certain positions.
"We found it is not the same. Each party will inform to the press their positions," he said.
He, however, added that this is only one instance of difference in the Left Front.
"Left Front will continue to be as united as ever. This is one single incident of slight difference of opinion," Bardhan said.
Earlier in the day, the BJP announced to oppose Pranab Mukherjee and support instead P A Sangma.
The Presidential election contest hotted up on Thursday with the BJP decision to back former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma as their candidate against Pranab Mukherjee, though their coalition group National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is divided on the issue.
"We have decided to back Mr P A Sangma. Both A P J Abdul Kalam whose name was proposed by Mamata Banerjee and Sangma were good, but Kalam decided not to contest," BJP senior leader Sushma Swaraj told reporters here at a press conference.
"Sangma is a tall leader and he is the tallest leader of the Northeast," said Swaraj.
Sangma a day ago has quit his party Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to contest the Presidential poll since NCP refused to support his candidature and instead backed the Union Finance Minister (Pranab Mukherjee), the candidate of the Congress.
NDA partners Janata Dal (United) and Shiv Sena, however, said they would support Pranab Mukherjee.
Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress, the second biggest constituent of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), however has virulently opposed the candidature of Pranab Mukherjee.