New Delhi: It's a big day for Pranab Mukherjee. He will be filing his nomination as the UPA's Presidential candidate on Thursday. In a show of strength, all the UPA allies will be present, but the Trinamool Congress is likely to stay away. TMC chief Mamata Banerjee had opposed Pranab's candidature.
And in a sign of changing times, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party will be present. The NDA stands divided with the Shiv Sena and JD(U) backing Pranab. BJD chief Naveen Patnaik and senior BJP leaders will be by PA Sangma's side when he files his nomination on Thursday.
Pranab is expected to file four sets of nomination papers signed by top UPA leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
As many as 480 MPs and MLAs, including Union Ministers, Chief Ministers, Congress Legislature Party leaders and PCC chiefs are among the proposers and seconders of Mukherjee's nomination, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters.
"Mukherjee will file his nomination papers at 11 am tomorrow for the July 19 poll," he said.
After Mukherjee files the nomination papers, Bansal will be his authorised representative.
NDA Convenor and JD(U) President Sharad Yadav is the first signatory on one set of nomination papers. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati have also signed the nomination papers.
As a matter of abundant precaution, each set of nomination papers will have 60 proposers and 60 seconders against 50 proposers and 50 seconders required as per the election rules, sources said.
(With additional inputs from PTI)