Jaya comes close to NDA after Sangma episode

The BJP support to former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma’s candidature for the Presidential polls on Thursday has brought the ruling AIADMK closer to the BJP-led NDA, as the saffron party endorsed ‘Amma’s choice for the top post.

It came as a belated vindication of sorts for the AIADMK supremo Jayalalitha's political move, who along with the BJD leader and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, proposed a tribal candidate - Sangama- for the highest Constitutional Office.

Though these are still early days for any larger political realignment to come about, ‘Amma’s move in political circles here was seen as an attempt to re-launch a third front of non-BJP/non-Congress parties in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Jayalalitha had the last laugh with the BJP finally zeroing in on what was basically the AIADMK-BJD’s nominee for President’s post. It also ensured a direct contest against UPA’s candidate, Pranab Mukherjee.

Sources say it, nevertheless, this development has now boosted her chances to be a player in Delhi after the next Lok Sabha elections, irrespective of the outcome of Presidential poll. A visibly pleased Jayalalithaa, in a brief interaction with the media outside her Poes Garden residence here before leaving for Kodanad on Thursday, reiterated that right from the beginning the AIADMK’s choice for President’s post was P A Sangma, who resigned from NCP on Wednesday.“I announced the AIADMK’s support to Sangma more than a month ago, on May 17 to be precise, and after that there has been no change in our party’s stand,” said Jayalalitha.

Since then, during the past one month, various leaders from time to time were in touch with ‘Amma’ on this issue. “Some of the leaders tried to enlist my support for the candidature of Dr Abdul Kalam,” the AIADMK leader disclosed.

She said that (supporting Kalam) was now out of question as Dr Kalam himself has made it clear that he did not wish to contest. Jayalalitha said and hoped that other parties would now also back Sangma’s candidature. “I will be happy” if other parties also supported Sangma, she added.

Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee had also spoken to Jayalalitha seeking her support for Dr Kalam’s candidature. Jayalalitha said that she had told her West Bengal counterpart: “I have already announced my support to Sangma.” “So, let us wait and see what Mamataji does,” quipped the AIADMK leader.

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