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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Prez poll: Sangma chances fizzle out

Saubhadra Chatterji and Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 20, 2012
First Published: 15:32 IST(20/5/2012) | Last Updated: 23:14 IST(20/5/2012)

AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa and BJD boss Naveen Patnaik's renewed bid to push former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma for President failed to enthuse key non-UPA parties, non-NDA parties on Sunday.

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Even though NCP chief Sharad Pawar has rejected party colleague Sangma's name, Jayalalithaa spoke on the phone to CPM general secretary Prakash Karat, CPI veteran AB Bardhan, TDP boss N Chandrababu Naidu and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. She also spoke to NDA leaders LK Advani and Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The Samajwadi Party (SP)-that has the 6% votes in the presidential election - the highest among the non-UPA, non-NDA parties-ruled out any possibility of backing Sangma.

"They have announced his candidature without consulting us. We have nothing to do with Sangma," SP spokesperson Mohan Singh told HT from Lucknow.

The CPM and CPI didn't commit their support for Sangma as President. "Our party hasn't yet discussed any presidential candidate," said the CPM's Karat.

BJD chief Patnaik spoke to Bardhan and other leaders and is expected in Delhi on Monday to seek support for Sangma's candidature. BSP chief Mayawati has said she won't fall into any 'Third Front trap', obliquely referring to Sangma's candidature.  Without the support of the SP, BSP and Left, Sangma's chances against a UPA candidate are feeble.

According to a press release issued by Tamil Nadu government, Jayalalithaa told leaders in New Delhi that Sangma has "all the qualifications" to become President.

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