Trinamool tells SP: Dump the Left

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“Dump Left first if you want to do business with us,” Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is learnt to have conveyed to Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

While the SP has been pinning hope on a working relationship with the Trinamool Congress on national issues, sources said the two parties are close to shun each other, with Ms Banerjee’s aversion to Yadav doing business with the likes of Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury.

Even though Ms Banerjee had stated that her party will jointly take a stand on presidential election after an hour long meeting with the SP chief in the national capital early this month, sources said that the sudden bonhomie has now lost its appeal on the West Bengal chief minister.

Sources within the Trinamool Congress also stated that the party would not like to align with non-UPA partners on the presidential elections but would press hard for a bargain to get a financial bail out for West Bengal.

When asked that Ms Banerjee ignored finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s name while spelling out her preferences for the President’s post, a senior Trinamool Congress leader said that it was deliberate move to put pressure on the Congress.

“Pranab (Mukherjee) is very much in the race. This much we know and our party will have no problem in backing him also. But we will like some concrete steps being taken by the Centre on demands for financial package,” said the Trinamul Congress leader.

Even though the NCP leader P.A. Sangma has sought time with Banerjee in a bid to garner support for his candidature, the Trinamul Congress leaders rule out the possibility of supporting the tribal leader.

Left wants candidate with 'widest acceptance'

* Refusing to spell out their preference, Left parties on Wednesday asked the UPA government to come up with a candidate having “widest possible acceptance” for the Presidential election. After a meeting of the four Left parties in New Delhi, the leaders said they did not discuss any names during the 90-minute-long deliberations.

* Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy has asked TN CM Jayalalithaa to support A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for the post of President instead of NCP leader P.A. Sangma. She should persuade him to become her candidate, he said.

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