Pranab Mukherjee, the Presidential candidate of United Progressive Alliance (UPA), arrived in Hyderabad today from Chennai on a day-long visit to galvanise support for his candidature. He is accompanied by Central minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Vayalar Ravi.
"I have started my interaction with voters of the electoral college from Chennai. I have intentions of visiting as many state capitals as possible. I started on Saturday and want to carry on till July 15," Mr Mukherjee said while addressing Congress MPs and state legislators at Jubilee Hall.
"I have appealed to all political parties who haven't decided to extend their support to me to take decision in my favour and in favour of UPA. Those who have extended their support to me, I thank them; those who are supporting UPA from outside like SP, BSP, I thank them and those who have extended support to me as presidential nominee, like Shiv Sena, I have thanked them as well," he added.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana and party leaders welcomed the Mr Mukherjee at the Begumpet airport. A small group of pro-Telangana supporters protested outside the airport. Raising slogans of 'Jai Telangana', they tried to stop Mr Mukherjee's convoy but police foiled their attempt.
The Congress leadership reportedly tried to reach out to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) to seek their support but it was not clear if leaders of the two parties would meet Mr Mukherjee.
It was also not clear if Mukherjee would call on Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu to seek his party's support.
TDP, TRS and YSRCP have not yet announced their stand on the presidential polls.