As the day of presidential election is drawing closer, a quaint situation has emerged with the Congress eagerly awaiting the decision of the YSR Congress on its support and the YSRCP, in turn, awaiting that of the Telugu Desam.
The YSRCP leadership is contemplating to back the UPA’s candidate Pranab Mukherjee.
Since a decision favouring the candidature of BJP backed PA Sangma might brand the YSRCP as a communal party, several leaders in the party are preferring Pranab’s candidature.
However, the camp mangers of YSRCP, which has 17 MLAs, are eagerly waiting for the decision of the TDP. They want the YSRCP to abstain from voting if the TDP backs Mukherjee. If the TDP does no support the UPA’s candidate, then the YSRCP may back the candidature of Pranab.
A top leader in YSRCP said that some leaders in the party were pressuring the party leadership to back Pranab who was close to the late YS Rajasekhara Reddy.
He said since Pranab made it clear that he was no longer a Congress man, people may not disapprove of YSRCP’s support to Pranab.
“Moreover, since Pranab’s victory is certain, it will be wise on our part to vote for him,” he said.
YSRCP leaders on Friday authorised party chief Jagan to take a final decision on the matter.
“Party honorary president Vijayamma will meet Jagan soon to know his decision,” party leader MV Mysoora Reddy said.
The TDP, with 86 legislators, tried to gauge the reaction of its cadre by hinting that it would back UPA’s nominee but is now being secretive.
Sources said TDP legislators are likely to abstain from voting as the party does not want to be seen to be supporting the Congress candidate nor the one backed by the BJP.
But some leaders caution the party leadership that it will have to face criticism in the event of abstaining from voting for election of the head of the nation.
“Being the main opposition party we cannot abstain from voting in a democracy,” said a Politburo member.
The TRS too could not make up its mind.
“We have been discussing the issue to arrive at a decision. But it will take three more days,” T Harish Rao, MLA, said.