New Delhi: The race to Rashtrapati Bhavan is over. One of the UPA's senior most ministers and the government's key troubleshooter, Pranab Mukherjee emerged as the winner. Numerous allies endorsed him but the biggest turnaround was from the Samajwadi Party which made a dramatic U-turn on Friday, ditching Didi to back Dada.
On Wednesday, Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav were like brothers-in-arms. Mamata had said, "Mulayam and I are together. We will consult each other... Kalam is our candidate."
However, just 48 hours later, the bonhomie was gone.
Explaining the joint press conference they had held wherein they revealed their choices of Presidential nominees, Mulayam said, "I had only made suggestions, I never said that Pranab was unacceptable."
Mulayam Singh Yadav, the master of double speak, had done it again. From allying with Mamata and rejecting UPA nominees initially to distancing himself from the temporary ally, making a complete U-turn and supporting Pranab, it was all like a day's work for the SP leader.
While Mamata may now call him a traitor, in the end, it is Mulayam who has emerged the winner.
Although he has stated that he won't join the UPA, he has ensured that for the rest of its term, it will require the crutches of his support.
Mamata, on the other hand, has to decide whether she still can be a part of ruling coalition or not.