Trinamool Congress and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who called the shots on Wednesday in the presidential nomination issue, appeared isolated on Thursday.

After meeting Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in the evening, she emerged alone to announce that their candidate was the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

But Mr. Yadav chose not to address the press.

The BJP, on its part, just said Mr. Kalam was “a respected leader and we take pride in him.”

SP sources, on the other hand, indicated that they had no objection to Mr. Mukherjee's candidature — the party just wanted to be treated better. On its wish list were an economic package for Uttar Pradesh, where it is in power, and an end to the pending cases against Mr. Yadav — and perhaps a shot at the Vice-President's job for someone from the party.

Indeed, through the day, Congress managers worked the backchannels to break the Banerjee-Yadav combine. Party sources expressed confidence that they would succeed in their mission.

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