File photo: Prakash Karat with Pranab Mukherjee
Ahead of a meeting of the four Left parties today, sources have told NDTV that Pranab Mukherjee has spoken to CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat and sought his support. The Prime Minister had also spoken to Mr Karat on June 15, the day the UPA named Mr Mukherjee as its candidate.
Top leaders of Left parties will meet in New Delhi on Thursday to take a decision on which candidate to support in the presidential poll.
Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechury and S Ramachandran Pillai (CPI-M), A B Bardhan, Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja (CPI), Debabrata Biswas and G Deverajan (Forward Bloc) and T J Chandrachoodan (RSP) are expected to attend the meeting.
Before the meeting of Left parties around 4 pm, the CPI-M Politburo is also expected to meet in the morning
The Left parties, which account for 4.7% of the votes (around 51,000 vote value in the electoral college of 10.98 lakh vote value), have maintained a suspense on the issue of support to the UPA nominee, saying they were not bound to back the ruling coalition's candidate.
"We are not bound, we are not part of the alliance of Congress and UPA that we have to support anybody they propose," CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat has said.
The CPI-M had earlier decided to consult secular and Left parties before finalising a stand on supporting a Presidential candidate.
Top leadership of UPA has already spoken to Karat and Bardhan seeking their support for Mukherjee.
The Presidential poll, slated next month, was also discussed in the recent CPI (M) central committee meeting, which authorised the Politburo to formulate the party's strategy on the election after discussing the issue with other Left and like-minded secular parties.