Pranab Mukherjee’s candidature for President has not only divided the UPA, the NDA but also the Left, with the CPM and Forward Bloc pledging their support for the finance minister and the CPI saying it would not support the Congress’s policies. Bengal factor seems to have played a part in the CPM decision with some leaders seeing it as an opportunity to widen the wedge between the Congress and Trinamool. CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said Mukherjee, “in the present situation, is the candidate with the widest possible acceptance”.
Meanwhile, the BJP has decided to support P A Sangma, saying it could not give the government a walkover. Sangma is also supported by the AIADMK and Naveen Patnaik of the BJD. Pranab has the support of the Shiv Sena and the JD(U), constituents of the NDA, besides the SP and the BSP. The Trinamool has still not pledged it's support to either candidate in the wake of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam opting not to contest.