New Delhi: BJP supported candidate PA Sangma suffered setback in his bid to garner support for his presidential bid after he failed to get Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee’s appointment on Friday.
Sangma had sought an appointment and had planned to travel to Kolkata today to meet the firebrand leader; however her office rejected the request citing the busy schedule of the Chief Minister.
Yesterday, Sangma had expressed the hope that the TMC will stand behind him as its first choice APJ Abdul Kalam has decided not to contest.
"I had spoken to her earlier. She had asked me to support Kalam then. But she told me that if Kalam does not contest, then she will support me. Now that Kalam is not in the race, I hope that Mamata will support me. I am very very hopeful that Mamata will be with me,” he had said.
However, now that Mamata appears to be in no mood to oblige him, Sangma will have to rework his options. Incidentally, the BJP had also publicly claimed that it is trying to get ‘Mamata on board’.
As per reports, Mamata is opposed to Sangma and will not stand by him in his presidential bid despite appeals from many leaders.
Mamata has many reasons to not support the tribal leader from the North East. For one, Sangma was with the Trinamool for a short span in 1995, but deserted it as he has dumped the NCP now.
Moreover, Mamata won’t want to be seen standing with the NDA on the issue.
Being a part of the UPA and given her opposition to Pranab Mukherjee, the TMC may abstain from the vote.
Pranab in Kolkata today
Pranab Mukherjee will reach Kolkata on Friday night. He will spend the night in the city before proceeding to his ancestral home at Miriti village in Birbhum on Saturday morning.
All eyes will be on whether he pays the TMC chief a visit, especially after he had sought support from his ‘sister’ Mamata.