In an attempt to find a consensus candidate in the presidential election of July 2012, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s SP has reached out to Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool for a tie-up. Sources said both parties had agreed to join hands on this issue.
However, the two ruling parties — the SP in UP and the Trinamool in West Bengal — which have good numbers in the electoral college for the presidential poll, have decided to wait for the choice of the Congress candidate.
While the SP has 224 MLAs in UP and one in West Bengal, apart from 33 MPs, the Trinamool has 29 MPs, and 185 MLAs in West Bengal, seven in Manipur, five in Arunachal Pradesh and one in Assam.
The members of Parliament and the assemblies comprise the electoral college.
Talking to HT on the phone on Thursday the SP’s Kolkata-based Rajya Sabha member, Kironmoy Nanda, said he had a meeting with Banerjee on Tuesday on the issue. “Even though no name came up for discussion, Banerjee has agreed to support the candidate decided by Yadav,” Nanda said, adding a decision would be taken at a meeting between the two leaders soon.
“In principle we have agreed,” Nanda said.
But SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhury told HT he had no information about this.
On the other hand, the Congress-led UPA government has been making efforts to keep the one-month-old UP government in good humour.
Last week UP CM Akhilesh Yadav had a meeting with PM Manmohan Singh with his list of demands. The Centre has assured the state adequate assistance.
The name of Mulayam’s brother Ramgopal Gopal Yadav had also recently cropped up for the post of deputy chairmanship of the Rajya Sabha.