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BJP, some allies likely to back Sangma

New Delhi: After division in NDA ranks, BJP and some other allies appeared set to back P A Sangma, who today quit NCP, ignoring his party`s direction not to contest the Presidential poll against UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee. BJP, along with new ally Janata Party Chief Subramanian Swamy, are understood to have conveyed to Sangma their intent to support him and a final decision on it would be taken soon after a meeting of NDA allies.

Among the NDA allies, Shiv Sena has already broken ranks by announcing support for Mukherjee and JD(U) also appears to have reservations to having a contest. Swamy met Sangma earlier in the day after which the 64-year-old former Lok Sabha Speaker announced his resignation from NCP, which had warned him of disciplinary action if he contested against Mukherjee. In the evening, senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Jaswant Singh met at NDA Working Chairperson L K Advani`s residence. Sources said Swamy apprised them of the day`s developments. BJP and Janata Party have virtually decided to back Sangma.

Soon after the meeting, Advani`s close aide Sudheendhra Kulkarni- who was also present in the discussions at the senior leader`s residence- reached Sangma`s house. Sources said he was carrying a message from Advani that Sangma should not dither from his stand of contesting the poll. BJP is also working towards convincing JD(U) to support Sangma, sources said. Another NDA ally SAD is likely to back the former Speaker. Sources indicated that an announcement may be made by NDA tomorrow.

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