Jaya steps up campaign for Sangma as President

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa on Sunday contacted top leaders of several non-Congress parties.

Updated: May 20, 2012, 19:27 PM IST

Chennai: Stepping up her campaign for former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma`s candidature for presidency, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa on Sunday contacted top leaders of several non-Congress parties including BJP veteran LK Advani, seeking their support to the tribal leader.

Jayalalithaa spoke over telephone to Advani, CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, CPI leader AB Bardhan, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shironmani Akali Dal leader and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, an AIADMK release said here.

As part of the "intensified efforts" to garner support for Sangma, Jayalalithaa spoke to these leaders seeking their support the tribal leader from the Northeast who "has all the qualifications" (to become President) in the coming Presidential polls, it said.

Jayalalithaa`s latest initiative comes two days after she asked all parties to "rise above political considerations," and support the tribal leader for the top job.

In a coordinated move, Jayalalithaa and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik on May 17 announced their joint support to Sangma.

The AIADMK chief had held consultations with Patnaik besides within her party before announcing her support to Sangma, who himself had called on her on May 15.

The Nationalist Congress Party, to which Sangma belongs, however, has ruled out supporting his candidature, saying it would go with the UPA being a part of it.

PTI