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Left sees Cong hand,UPA allies cautious

As Left rejects all TMC-SP names,ADMK rethinks on Sangma,NCP for consensus

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Published: June 14, 2012 12:13:43 am

The Left on Wednesday saw a Congress hand behind Mamata Banerjee and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s surprise decision to toss three new names — including that of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — in the race for presidency and rejected all of them while UPA constituents DMK and NCP adopted a cautious approach.

Surprised by the fast-paced political developments,the AIADMK,which had backed P A Sangma for the top post,too appeared to be recalibrating its position after Mamata and Mulayam announced Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,former president A P J Abdul Kalam and former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee as their choices for presidency.

Sources in the AIAMDK said although it has backed Sangma,the latest developments hold the potential to trigger a political realignment and it would watch the developments as they unfold.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar favoured a consensus without revealing his cards. “In the light of the new developments,we will have to talk to all concerned (in UPA) and try to bring a consensus on the Presidential choice,” he said.

The DMK made it clear that it will stick to its assurance to the Congress that it has no objections to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee becoming the UPA candidate. DMK leader T R Baalu told The Indian Express: “We stand by what we have said earlier. Our leader has already communicated our party’s stand to Antonyji and madam Sonia Gandhi. That holds good even now.”

Having already indicated that it was open to backing either Mukherjee or Vice President Hamid Ansari for presidency,the Left parties ruled out supporting Mamata-Mulayam’s surprise choices. CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy said the Left would not support either Singh or Kalam.

Interestingly,when asked about the candidature of Chatterjee,who was expelled from CPM in 2008,he said: “We will have to discuss with other friends.”

His party colleague and leader of the CPI in Lok Sabha Gurudas Dasgupta,however,saw a Congress “game plan” behind Mamata-Mulayam’s announcement. “We are not obliged to support any Congress candidate. Congress and its policies almost ruined the country. These are names suggested and sponsored by the Congress. This is part of the big game plan by the Congress and its leadership,” he told The Indian Express.

CPM general secretary Prakash Karat,on the other hand,termed as “interesting” the names thrown up by Mamata and Mulayam. “Interesting names. Everybody is free to suggest any name…. As far as we are concerned,we are not going to speculate. We are not going to say anything now. We will say anything only after we get to know from the Congress the name that they propose,” he said.

Reddy was more forthright. “We will not be interested in supporting either Manmohan Singh or Abdul Kalam. In fact,I can say that we surely will oppose them,” Reddy told The Indian Express. Asked to spell out the reasons for opposing Kalam and Singh,Reddy said the Left parties had opposed Kalam in 2002 as well. “As far as the Prime Minister is concerned,he is the person who has ruined this country. Why should we support him,” he said.

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