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Sangma to settle for vice-presidentship?

By Onkar Singh
June 15, 2012 10:09 IST
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Former speaker of the Lok Sabha P A Sangma, who was the first one to announce his candidature for the President is watching the political developments very closely. According to sources, if he finds that former President A P J Abdul Kalam is backed by National Democratic Alliance, Sangma may prefer to join electoral fray as vice president.

Kalam was welcomed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as he reached Patna for an unofficial trip indicating that the National Democratic Alliance has decided to back the former President.

Meanwhile, sources say that the United Progressive Alliance has zeroed in on the name of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as its choice for the Presidential candidate. Pranab was upset that the Congress leadership was taking too much time in taking a decision and he conveyed the same to Congress president 0Sonia Gandhi during his meeting with her on Thursday. His name would be announced officially either on Friday or Saturday.

That would help him to seek support from the Left parties and others who would vote otherwise for someone else. Left parties would rather vote for Pranab then vote for Kalam and they are known for anti-Kalam stand.

Pranab would now have to try hard to win over YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy, who is winning most of the assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh by-polls. Jagan's support is also being sought by NDA as it would boost their chances of getting Kalam elected if he accepts the candidature.

The former President has already gone on record to say that he would contest only if he is ensured of 60 per cent support from the electoral college.

Both UPA II and its allies join Sonia for a meeting while NDA holds a parallel meet at L K Advani's house during the course of the day. It would be interesting to note what transpires in these two crucial meetings. 

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