Tuesday, May 22, 2012

BJP pooh-poohs Sangma candidacy

New Delhi: The BJP's official line on former Lok Sabha speaker P.A.Sangma entering the presidential fray and getting an endorsement from the BJD and AIADMK. Party spokesman reiterated what he had said on Thursday that the party will take a decision only after a meeting of the NDA. As yet there is no date set for such a meeting. Though BJP national executive is meeting at Mumbai on May 24 and 25, the party may deliberate on the issue but it will not declare its position till after the NDA meeting.

BJP leaders speaking on condition of anonymity feel that Sangma cannot be taken a serious contender when his (Sangma's ) own party, the NCP, has not backed him. Also, they feel that the endorsement of AIADMK and BJD does not amount to much because they are not major movers and shakers in the opposition scheme of things. They argue that neither AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha nor BJD chief and Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik do not account for much on their own and that they will be able to play a crucial role only along with other opposition parties.

There are two possible outcomes at the moment over Sangma. Either, he fails to be taken seriously by the entire opposition which is what he would require to put up a credible fight, and that would require not just Sangma, but also Jayalalitha and Patnaik, to reach out to other opposition parties.

The BJP has however not disclosed whether Sangma had approached the party. They would not want to say anything until NDA sits down to talk over the issue.

If this were to mean that AIADMK and BJD were to plough their own lonely furrow and support Sangma, then there might be three or four contestants in the presidential race. There will be the UPA candidate, there will be the NDA nominee. It is to be seen whether the Left Front would go with the UPA candidate or that of AIADMK-BJD because it is unlikely to go with the NDA. Or, the Left Front may want to field its onw candidate, which would then result in a crowded presidential race.

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