There is likely to be a near consensus among major political parties in Andhra Pradesh for the candidature of Pranab Mukherjee in the forthcoming presidential election.
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, an ally of the UPA, has begun lobbying for a consensus on Pranab among the political parties. On Tuesday, MIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi called on YSR Congress party chief Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy at Chanchalguda jail and appealed to him to extend his party’s support to the Finance Minister’s candidature.
Owaisi said Jagan had given a positive response and said he would definitely consider the MIM suggestion on presidential polls.The MIM president, however, hinted that he might back the Congress government in the state in the event of a crisis. He said the people had given the mandate to the Congress party to stay till 2014.The MIM president is likely to meet Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N Chandrababu Naidu in a day or two to seek his party’s support for Pranab.
The TDP, which has six Lok Sabha members, four Rajya Sabha members and 86 MLAs, is also said to be favouring the candidature of Pranab, as it would not like to support an NDA candidate and there is no candidate on behalf of a non-existing Third Front.
According to TDP sources, Naidu would have supported former President A P J Abdul Kalam, had the latter agreed to contest the presidential polls. Since Kalam opted out of the race politely, Naidu has no option but to support Pranab.
On the other hand, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, too, is most likely to support the candidature of Pranab Mukherjee. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is learnt to have called up TRS president K Chandrasekhara Rao personally and sought his party’s support to UPA’s candidate. And the TRS president is said to have given him a positive assurance. The Telangana party has two MPs and 17 MLAs.