Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa stepped up lobbying for P A Sangma as a presidential candidate on Sunday,contacting the leaders of several parties four days after she had made a general appeal to all parties to support the former Lok Sabha Speaker.
She called up L K Advani of the BJP,CPM general secretary Prakash Karat,the CPIs A B Bardhan,and the Samajwadi Partys Mulayam Singh Yadav,besides Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal of the SAD and Telegu Desam leader N Chandrababu Naidu.
The BJP will finalise its stand in consultation with NDA allies only after its national executive in Mumbai. A meeting of the NDA is slated in Delhi after the BJP meet in Mumbai.
The Left parties,which meet on May 23,did not appear enthusiastic about Jayalalithaa’s proposal.
We have not assured her anything, Bardhan told The Indian Express. We will formulate our stand after discussions within our party and with Left allies. Karat said the Left would rather wait for the Congresss move before deciding its strategy.
An AIADMK statement issued in Chennai said that Jayalalithaa,in her intensified efforts to promote Sangmas candidacy,requested these leaders to back the leader from the Northeast who has all the qualifications for the post.
In an earlier statement,Jayalalithaa had called upon all parties to rise above political considerations and back a tribal leader. Sangma had first written to her and met her in Chennai. Backed by Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik,she floated Sangmas name,taking everybody by surprise.