Parties unsure on whom to back as Presidential candidate

The three largest Opposition parties — Telugu Desam, TRS and the YSR Congress – which together account for about 120 MLAs are still in a dilemma over whom to support in the Presidential elections.

TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu had indicated that his party was not averse to supporting UPA’s candidate Pranab Mukherjee but he has deferred a formal announcement as he is wary of being seen on the same side as the Congress

Backing former Lok Sabha Speaker P. A. Sangma, who is being supported by the NDA, is also a difficult proposition as it would amount to aligning with ‘communal forces’ like the BJP. For a big party like the TDP, abstention from voting is also not an easy option.

The YSR Congress is bogged down in a similar dilemma, even though MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi met Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy in Chanchalguda jail to seek his party’s support for Mr. Mukherjee.

Its leaders feel that the Congress has closed all doors for rapprochement after the ‘witch-hunting’ by the CBI and other investigating agencies against Mr. Jagan. The Central Governing Council of the party has left the final decision to its leaders.

In the case of TRS, the UPA leaders are already in touch with its chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao to support Mr. Mukherjee.

There is already pressure from the T-JAC to the elected representatives from Telangana to keep away from voting till the Centre concedes a separate State. The party, with 17 MLAs, including an Independent, is yet to spell out its stand.