Kolkata: Amid the growing strain between the Congress Party and its largest ally, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), over the choice of Pranab Mukherjee as the UPA's presidential candidate, the latter has said it would quit the ruling alliance only if asked to.
TMC leader Kunal Ghosh told media here that the TMC had no intention of leaving the central coalition on its own.
"If the top leadership of the top party of the UPA thinks that the Trinamool Congress is unwanted, and they should officially request the TMC leadership to be away from the UPA, then it may be considered. Otherwise, on our own, we do not want to get out of the UPA," Ghosh said.
He further said the party still stood by its decision to support former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for a second stint in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
"Mamata Banerjee and the Trinamool Congress had earlier declared that they will support A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as the presidential candidate, and there is no change of that stand," added Kunal Ghosh.
The TMC's decision to oppose the Congress party's decision to field Mukherjee is being seen as a move to destabilise the government.
However, the nomination of Mukherjee was endorsed by the Congress party' allies in the UPA and other regional parties such as the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
The presidential elections will be held on July 19. The vote count will take place on July 22.
Pratibha Devisingh Patil's term as President ends on July 24.