Post-poll, NDA, UPA may see rejig

Prez race: Arun Jaitley praises West Bengal chief minister Mamata

Two major coalitions – NDA and UPA - may witness realignment of political forces in view of the emerging combinations and permutations ahead of the Presidential election with both alliances hoping to widen their base by inducting new allies.

As BJP on Thursday decided to back former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma, propped up by AIADMK and BJD as presidential candidate, its key ally JD(U) refused to fall in line and announced its support for UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee. According to sources in BJP, the party decided to support Sangma with the hope of bringing back AIADMK and BJD into NDA fold, keeping an eye on 2014 general elections.

BJP is also sending feelers to TMC, which broke ranks with UPA over Presidential polls and opposed Mukherjee’s candidature. “Mamataji is a very serious and experienced politician. She has taken a firm position. We hope, in  logical pursuit of what she started, she should support the Opposition candidate,” said senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, hoping to rope in TMC, the troublesome ally of UPA.

Interestingly, TMC, now a part of the UPA government at the Centre, was sharing power during NDA regime as well. 

However, as BJP is hoping to get AIADMK, BJD and TMC onboard, its key ally JD (U) decided to break ranks with NDA and support Mukherjee.

“In tune with the present political situation, our support is to Pranab Mukherjee, but we are not supporting Congress,” JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said at a press conference held soon after BJP pledged its support to Sangma.

Opportunistic step

The announcement made by Yadav along with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar asking the BJP leadership to name a Prime Ministerial candidate with secular credentials before the next general elections in 2014, is being viewed by Congress circles as an opportunity to rope in JD(U) and expand UPA's political base.

“Congress’ alliance with Nitish Kumar is just a matter of time,” said a senior Congress functionary from Bihar, hoping that an arrangement with JD(U) either before or after the 2014 LS polls could help boost the UPA’s numbers at the Centre and help revive the party in the state, where it had won just four Assembly seats in 2010 and two Lok Sabha seats the year before.

Asked about the future of relations with Lalu Prasad’s RJD in case JD(U) comes to UPA fold, the leader said, “we will have them both the way we are having the support of both Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party from UP”.

Agatha Sangma stays out of NCP meet

Minister of State for Rural Development Agatha Sangma skipped the Parliamentary Board meeting of her party, NCP, to discuss Presidential elections, reports DHNS from New Delhi.

Minutes before the meeting started, Agatha informed NCP chief Sharad Pawar that she will not be unable to attend due to some “unavoidable reasons.”

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