Mamata close to exit from UPA

Last Updated 15 June 2012, 20:04 IST

Virtually isolated, it is a matter of time before temperamental Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee exits from the ruling United Progressive Alliance.

Finding herself in unenviable position, the fiery West Bengal chief minister may herself call it quits, say UPA sources, notwithstanding appeal by coalition leaders to support the Alliance candidate for president, Pranab Mukherjee.

The Mamata action of supporting a non-UPA candidate in former president APJ Abdul Kalam also figured in the UPA meeting.

Informed sources said UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi herself referred to the development without naming Mamata.

“It is regrettable that one of our allies has not supported the candidature of Mukherjee,” she said as she addressed the coalition leaders.

Mamata boycotted the UPA meeting that picked the ruling coalition’s Presidential nominee.
On Wednesday, she stunned the Congress and UPA leaders as she and SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav announced the names of three candidates including Kalam.

Upon Congress’ rejection of all the three on Thursday, she stuck to Kalam.
“If you think the game is over, you are wrong,” the TMC leader said about her choice of Kalam.
Though she suffered a setback politically on Friday, the TMC had a good day at the polls as it opened its account in UP besides winning the bypolls for two seats in Bengal.

Trinamool won the Mant constituency in Mathura district, vacated by Union minister Ajit Singh’s son Jayant Choudhary, MP.

Informed sources said she is unlikely to side with the BJP-led NDA any time soon after leaving the UPA as  she would like to test the waters over her action in West Bengal.

It is also possible that Mamata would try assembling the coalition of non-Congress and non-BJP parties.

If her call to Vijayamma, wife of former Andra CM YSR and the YSRC party leader to congratulate her on the victory in Andra Assembly bypolls was any indication, Mamata may already have made a step towards the third alliance.

YSR Congress is currently opposed to both BJP and Congress.
Although Mamata opposed his candidature, UPA Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee tried reaching out to her soon after the announcement of his candidature. 

(Published 15 June 2012, 20:04 IST)

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