The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday expressed disappointment at Mamata Banerjee’s decision that her Trinamool Congress would support the United Progressive Alliance’s presidential candidate, Pranab Mukherjee.
“We understand that the TMC is a part of the government but Mamata Banerjee was one of the first ones to raise her voice against the policies of the anti-people, corrupt UPA alliance — be it NCTC, fuel price hike or FDI in retail,” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said here on Tuesday.
So, under what “compulsion” did Ms. Banerjee change her stand? “Was it all just posturing when Mamata spoke against the uncaring and insensitive policies of the UPA government and has now taken a U-turn? Is she now indifferent to the cause of the common people?”
The BJP was hoping to cash in on the unease between Ms. Banerjee and the Congress, and considered the presidential and vice-presidential elections an opportunity to build on it.
Hopes of the BJP soared when Ms. Banerjee, along with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, had proposed three alternative names to the two choices proposed by the Congress for President.
Even after Mr. Yadav distanced himself from her, the BJP looked to the Trinamool chief before finalising its strategy on the presidential and the vice-presidential elections.
Ms. Banerjee’s announcement now has dashed the hopes of the Opposition-backed P.A. Sangma getting Trinamool support. He had met Ms. Banerjee but got no assurance from her.
The NDA-backed vice-presidential candidate, Jaswant Singh, who wants to reach out to the parties which have not committed their support to Hamid Ansari, has proposed to speak to Ms. Banerjee as well.
The Trinamool is yet to announce its decision on the vice-presidential election.