Mamata keeps Sangma guessing

Mamata keeps Sangma guessing

Tribal leader meets CM, but gets no assurance

Mamata keeps Sangma guessing

The Presidential candidate of the BJP, Purna Ajtok Sangma met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Writers’ Building on Tuesday to seek support of Trinamool Congress- the only UPA ally that is yet to pledge their support to the ruling alliance’s candidate, Pranab Mukherjee.

“I am very happy with the outcome of the meeting. I am going back with a lot of hope. Mamatadi has supported me before,” Sangma told reporters after his 30-minute meeting with Banerjee.

However, Union Minister for Railways Mukul Roy who was also present in the meeting told reporters, “we have not taken any decision yet. The issue will be discussed at the party meeting and we will take the decision at the right time”.

Though Sangma looked hopeful, the Trinamool camp is mulling the idea of abstaining from voting without assuring any support to the former speaker of the Lok Sabha. 

“We don’t have any problem with the Sangma but the political situation is such we cannot go with a BJP candidate. That will be suicidal. We preferred not to go with the UPA candidate nor can we go with the NDA nominee. We are left with no choice actually,” a senior Trinamool Congress leader told Deccan Herald on condition of anonymity.Sangma, who aspires to be first tribal President of the country, has, apart from the BJP, managed to garner support from regional parties like the AIADMK and the Biju Janata Dal but together these parties do not have the numbers in the electoral college to swing the result in Sangma’s favour.

Where Sangma currently stands to win about 30 per cent of the vote in the election, scheduled for July 19, UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee is eyeing for 54  per cent votes and so, if he is to make it to the contest, Sangma needs the support of the Trinamool Congress. 

But with panchayat elections round the corner where a chunk of the voters (26 per cent approximately) belong to the Muslim community. Mamata has no other option but to keep away from the BJP-led NDA nominee.