Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday night stepped up efforts to drum up support for Hamid Ansari for a second tenure in the post of Vice-President, elections to which are scheduled for August 7, 2012 as he spoke to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and Communist Party of India leader A.B. Bardhan.
Dr. Singh rang up Ms. Banerjee but there was no official word on what transpired between the two leaders while CPI national secretary D. Raja said the Prime Minister spoke to Mr. Bardhan and his party colleague Sudhakar Reddy over phone seeking the Left party’s support for Mr. Ansari for the Vice-President’s post.
Dr. Singh spoke to Ms. Banerjee, who was on a tour of North Bengal, after which the TMC decided to attend a meeting convened by the United Progressive Alliance in New Delhi on July 14, 2012 to decide on their candidate for Vice-President.
“Prime Minister talked to Mamata Banerjee over phone,” TMC Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh told PTI from North Bengal.
Ms. Banerjee has asked Railway Minister and her close aide Mukul Roy to attend the July 14, 2012 UPA meeting, he said.
“It will be after a long gap that Trinamool Congress will be attending a UPA meeting, which is a significant development,” he said.
Mr. Ghosh, however, said Trinamool has not taken any decision on its stand on the Presidential and the Vice-Presidential elections. “Whatever decision the party takes will be announced”, he added.
The Trinamool had earlier said Ms. Banerjee would announce the party’s decision on the Presidential poll three days ahead of the election on July 19, 2012.
Mr. Raja said the CPI leaders conveyed to the Prime Minister that the party’s Central Secretariat will meet in New Delhi on July 18, 2012 and take a decision on the Vice-Presidential election.