To garner support for his own candidature as President, former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma knocked the doors of UPA's maverick ally - Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.
Sources close to Banerjee said Sangma had personally called up the West Bengal chief minister and sought an early appointment to meet her in Kolkata. Sangma also reportedly sought an appointment with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and is awaiting a response.
The NCP leader also made rounds of the Left parties-a key non-NDA opposition force-in his run-up to the presidential polls. Ahead of the Left parties meet on the issue, Sangma met CPM general secretary Prakash Karat on Tuesday following up on his meeting with CPI's D Raja on Monday. "We came here to talk to the tallest leader of the Left parties to press for the demand of electing a tribal president this time," Sangma said after meeting Karat.
"The Left parties are meeting on Wednesday and no final decision is expected by then. But by month-end, Left parties will decide on their stand," Sangma added.
"I have heard Sangma. The Left parties are yet to decide on the name of a presidential candidate," D Raja told HT.
The NCP leader also held a strategy meeting with Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday. Claiming that he enjoys support from Tribal leaders across party lines, the former Meghalaya chief minister said, "We hope that other political groups, including UPA and NDA, will respond to the call of conscience of the nation by the tribal people."
Although their initial efforts to rally other parties in support of Sangma found little success, Patnaik said, "We will be speaking to our colleagues who are many. It is our duty to gather together the political parties. There has been a very encouraging response."