Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has now decided to boycott UPA meeting for discussion on its presidential candidate on Friday, sources said.
As per sources, TMC chief has been looking to build pressure on the Congress to withdraw both its choices – Pranabh Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari – from the contention. Sources said that she has been hard selling former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s name for presidential nomination.
Meanwhile, after several flip flops in the last 24 hours, the Samajwadi Party seems to have decided to play on both sides, saying it has no opposition to either Mukherjee or Kalam.
A day after stunning the Congress ridiculing both its choices by announcing three of her own suggestions in consultation with SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav, the West Bengal chief minister was likely to meet him again later in the day.
The development comes after senior Congress leader and Union Minister Ambika Soni made a direct attack on Banerjee over her surprise move.
However, rubbishing Congress’s charge that the Trinamool chief behaved improperly by naming the two persons discussed with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi MP Kunal Ghosh denied that she had gone against the decorum.
“She has not broken any decorum. Sonia Gandhi gave consent to Mamata Banerjee when she asked ‘can I tell the reporters what happened in the meeting’. She told Sonia ‘I will tell the two names,” Ghosh claimed.
The West Bengal unit of the Congress has reportedly been pressurising the party high command to dump Trinamool. But whether Congress can afford to do away with its troublesome ally is a call that can be taken only after the party’s core group meets later in the day to count its options.