With Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee yet to reveal the candidate her party would support in the presidential polls,talks are on to secure her backing for former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma.
Sources said Sangma has spoken to the West Bengal Chief Minister over the past couple of days and while Mamata has not assured him of her support yet she has not said no either.
Mamata,it is learnt,is keeping an eye on the BJP,which has said it would take a decision on Sangma by Thursday. Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa has also had a couple of telephonic conversations with Mamata and sources close to her said that the latter has not made any commitment to Jayalalithaa either.
Sangma is not our candidate. But whatever decision we take,it will taken by our leader. There is still a month to go for the election and we will arrive at a decision, Sultan Ahmed,TMC MP and Union Minister of State for Tourism,told The Indian Express in Delhi on Wednesday.
Sangma and Mamata have had a rough equation in the past. He had joined the TMC when Mamata founded the party,but left for Nationalist Congress Party after differences with her. But with former President A P J Abdul Kalam,Mamatas first choice for the presidential candidate,opting out of the reckoning,the TMC is believed to be left with only two choices to back Sangma or abstain from voting. Party sources said that a third possibility,that is of eventually supporting Pranab Mukherjee,looks remote.
The Congress high commands prevailing conciliatory stance with Mamata took a hit on Wednesday with the TMC accusing Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee of attempting to break the party.