All eyes are now on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s next move in the Presidential game plan. The Trinamool Congress chief has already been snubbed by the Congress and betrayed by the Samajwadi Party.
With Congress-led UPA government at the Centre announcing the name of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as their choice for Presidential candidate and with Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh ditching her completely on the contentious issue, the Trinamool Congress chief must be smarting at her moves gone wrong.
Putting up a brave face, the Trinamool Congress supremo had yesterday said, “Game is not over yet. It is still on. Let’s wait and watch. Whatever I have to say I’ll say tomorrow.”
With Mamata saying the game is not over, her next move is keenly awaited.
She might break the alliance with the UPA; but this move would not do much good for her. Though Banerjee has said that she still supports APJ Abdul Kalam for the President’s post, she will hard to find any partner to advocate her choice. And moreover, Kalam himself has said until he gets an assurance of 60 percent of votes he will not be a part of the race and with Pranab already garnering almost 50 percent of the support, the former president will certainly not like to jump into the fray.
After ignoring its troublesome ally, whether the Congress will continue to take such bold steps and go ahead with pending reforms, which have been vehemently opposed by Banerjee in the past, is also the big question.
Mulayam ditches Mamata
After a show of support for Banerjee on Wednesday, the Samajwadi Party on Friday took a U-turn and announced support for Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as the country’s president.
On Wednesday, Mulayam Singh had, along with Mamata Banerjee, virtually rejected the name of Mukherjee, a suggestion made by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
When asked to comment on Yadav’s volte face, she said: “I don’t want to comment anything about Mulayam Singhji. He is a very senior leader. It is their party decision. Everybody has his own political calculations and compulsions.”
The SP and the Trinamool Congress had on Wednesday named Kalam as one of their three preferred candidates for president. On Thursday, Banerjee said Kalam was their number one choice and reiterated it after a meeting with SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav.