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BJP likely to back Sangma, announcement on Thursday

June 20, 2012 21:50 IST
After division in the National Democratic Alliance ranks, the Bharatiya Janata Party and some other allies appeared set to back P A Sangma, who quit the Nationalist Congress Party, ignoring its direction not to contest the Presidential poll against United Progressive Alliance nominee Pranab Mukherjee.

The BJP, along with new ally Janata Party Chief Subramanian Swamy, are understood to have conveyed to Sangma their intent to support him and a final decision on it would be taken soon after a meeting of NDA allies.

Among the NDA allies, Shiv Sena has already broken ranks by announcing support for Mukherjee and the Janata Dal-United also appears to have reservations to having a contest.

Swamy met Sangma earlier in the day after which the 64-year-old former Lok Sabha Speaker announced his resignation from the NCP, which had warned him of disciplinary action if he contested against Mukherjee.

In the evening, senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Jaswant Singh met at NDA Working Chairperson L K Advani's residence. Sources said Swamy apprised them of the day's developments. The BJP and Janata Party have virtually decided to back Sangma.

Soon after the meeting, Advani's close aide Sudheendhra Kulkarni, who was also present in the discussions at the senior leader's residence, reached Sangma's house. Sources

said he was carrying a message from Advani that Sangma should not dither from his stand of contesting the poll.

The BJP is also working towards convincing the JD-U to support Sangma, sources said. Another NDA ally the Shiromani Akali Dal is likely to back the former Speaker.

Sources indicated that an announcement may be made by NDA on Thursday.

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