No question of supporting any candidate sponsored by UPA: Dasgupta

The Left parties on Wednesday described the three names proposed by the Samajwadi Party and the Trinamool Congress for the presidential post as a setback to the Congress.

In a surprise turn of events, the SP and the Trinamool announced the former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the former Speaker, Somnath Chatterjee, as their three choices for the presidential post. However, none of the three names is likely to find support from the Left parties.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Prakash Karat maintained that the party was waiting for the Congress to officially announce the presidential candidate. “We will discuss and decide within the party only once a name is announced,” Mr. Karat told The Hindu.

D. Raja of the Communist Party of India also said the party would consider any name only after the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party formally announced their candidates for the top post. “We will assess the situation after that,” he said.

“No one has contacted us so far except the former Speaker P.A. Sangma, to whom we have spoken. The Left parties have said the presidential candidate should be chosen with consensus and someone with widest acceptance which will be good for democracy,” he said.

Both, Mr. Raja and Gurudas Dasgupta, leader of the CPI in the Lok Sabha, however, suspected there was politics behind the announcement of the three names.

Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool is part of the UPA while Mulayam Singh's Samajwadi Party is supporting the alliance. “There has to be some politics behind taking the names of Dr. Singh and Mr. Chatterjee. It also means the Congress has lost all moral political authority,” Mr. Raja said. Mr. Dasgupta described it as a “Congress game” to muster support for its candidate. “No one is announcing the presidential candidate. Every one is keeping their cards close to their chest,” he said.

However, Mr. Dasgupta asserted that there was no question of supporting any candidate sponsored by the Congress or the UPA. “The government that has been totally ineffective and non-performing, found to be corrupt and made the economy a complete mess, does not deserve any support from us,” Mr. Dasgupta told The Hindu.

“The architect of new liberal policies that has resulted in misery to the people is unacceptable to us. Our protest to this would be by opposing the government candidate,” he said.

More In: National | News