The South Asian Times

17 January 2019 16:50 PM

PA Sangma Pushes Himself For President

New Delhi : Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader P.A. Sangma, whose name has been proposed for president by the AIADMK and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Tuesday said he would urge parties to "respond to the call of conscience" and choose a tribal for the post.

Sangma, who met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to thank him for backing his presidential candidature, told reporters: "We hope that other political parties, including those in the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) and the NDA (National Democratic Alliance), respond to the call of conscience in the nation by the tribal people and support us in the coming presidential election."

Marching ahead in the presidential race after being backed by BJD leader Patnaik and AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa, Sangma is making attempts to get support from major parties.

Sangma, who was accompanied by other tribal lead­ers from different political parties, said: "We belong from different political parties but we are fighting a common cause of projecting a tribal as a presidential candidate."

Thanking Patnaik and Jayalalithaa, he said: "Indeed it is time, a distinguished tribal leader needs to be the 'rashtrapati' of this great nation."

Sangma's daughter, Minister of State for Rural Development Agatha Sangma, told a news channel that it was "too early to say anything".

"The UPA will take a collective decision and I hope it will be on the positive side," she told Times Now.
"Right now no one is officially a candidate. He has a lot of potential and has a long way to go," she said.
Sangma's party NCP is a key ally of the Congress-led UPA. However, NCP chief Sharad Pawar has not made his stand clear.
The Congress and BJP have so far been quiet on the issue.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati also declined on who her party would back.
"The UPA has not announced its candidate, the NDA has not announced its candidate, how can we comment," Mayawati told reporters in the parliament complex.

Update: 22 May, 2012