Left senses opportunity in Mamata's fiasco

The political drama played out by Mamata Banerjee in naming candidates for the Presidential elections may have mainly targeted at the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

But the Trinamool leader did not forget her real adversaries –the Left Parties—who were equally unsettled by her announcement of Somnath Chatterjee in the list along with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former President APJ Abdul Kalam.

The Left, however, were cautious about the announcement and observed as things unfolded at the national capital, which proved to be a wise thing as Mamata overplayed her cards.

There were still some blushes for the Left parties when the TMC leader forged an alliance with Samajwadi Party Supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is said to be closer to Left leaders like AB Bardhan, D Raja and Sitaram Yechuri and was seen as a natural ally to them in the Presidential polls.

The silence has indeed spared them from getting into a verbal duel with Mamata.
Bardhan pointedly ignored the question on Mamata-Mulayam pact when asked about it on Thursday, while CPM leader Brinda Karat merely termed the attempt to name an incumbent Prime Minister for the post of President as “unprecedented”.

However, the Left readily responded when the would-be Presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee called on Left leaders from West Bengal -Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Biman Bose and others.
CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat and CPI leader Bardhan met and likely to have had an informal agreement to support Pranab.

The move would not only embarrass Mamata, who had failed to back a Bengali for the most prestigious office, but has allowed the Left to rest back the initiative at the politically opportune time.

In all likelihood, the Left would support Pranab on the premise that he has the “widest possible” backing amongst the Presidential candidates and his victory would probably discredit the TMC leader in her state.  

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