Will decide on Sangma after consultations: Advani

June 15th, 2012 - 3:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani said Friday he had discussed with AIDMK leader J. Jayalalithaa about former Lok Sabha speaker P. Sangma, who is also in the fray for the presidential polls, but will take a decision on him after consulting the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

“I had a good meeting with Jayalalithaa. She asked me about (supporting) Sangma. She said that she would like to see NDA support Sangma,” he said.

Advani had met Jayalalithaa in Chennai on Thursday.

“I told her that so far as my personal reactions to the proposal is concerned, I respect Sangma. I have known him very well. He had a good career as the speaker of the Lok Sabha and he belongs to the northeast. He is a tribal and all these factors are there,” he said.

“But I will have to consult my party, the BJP, and we will have to consult the NDA if I decide (to support him),” Advani told reporters after chairing the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) meet here at his residence.

Sangma, who is Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, is contesting the presidential polls and has the support of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

“There is nothing wrong in a contest (on electing a president). It’s a democracy,” Advani said.

Sangma has made it clear that he would contest even if NCP, which is a key constituent of Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, tells him not to fight the presidential elections. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is emerging as a consensus candidate of the UPA, which is also meeting to take the final call.

On being asked about supporting A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Advani said he had also discussed former president with the Tamil Nadu chief minister.

Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also proposed the name of Kalam, who, however, said he would take a final decision at the right time.

Banerjee, who did not attend the UPA meet to discuss presidential nominee, continued to pitch for Kalam — an indication that the Trinamool Congress and the Congress party are in for strained relations.

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