Sangma appeals to NDA allies for support (Lead)

June 21st, 2012 - 4:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) Soon after the BJP Thursday announced its support to P.A. Sangma in the presidential poll, the former Lok Sabha speaker appealed to NDA allies JD-U and Shiv Sena as well as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to back him.

Talking about the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) support, Sangma said: “Today, I’m very happy that BJP has taken a stand to back my candidature in the coming presidential election. It is not only the BJP, but other allies like Akali Dal, JMM (Jharkhand Mukti Morcha) and smaller parties have spoken to me and told me that they are with the decision of the BJP.”

“The JD-U (Janata Dal-United) and Shiv Sena has taken a different stand. I once again appeal to all the allies of NDA (National Democratic Alliance) to extend their support to my candidature. I will make my tour programme and will be going out all over, personally asking support from both in UPA (United Progressive Alliance) and NDA allies,” 64-year-old Sangma said.

“I once again appeal to all the allies of NDA to support me. I’ll make my tour programme and I’ll be asking support from all the NDA and UPA allies,” he said.

Asked whether Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress would support him, Sangma said he was hopeful that the party would stand behind him as its first choice, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, has decided not to contest.

“I had spoken to madam Mamata Banerjee, seeking her support, and she from her part requested to support her candidate Dr. Kalam. Now that Kalam is out of race, I hope Mamata Banerjee will support me. Even yesterday, I spoke to her. Tomorrow and day after I will speak to her depending on the availability. But I’m very..very..hopeful that Mamata Banerjee will be with me,” he said.

Asked about the fate of his daughter Agatha Sangma, a minister of state in the Congress-led UPA government, he said: “My daughter is a part of the UPA…She is the minister and a very mature person. She has the capacity of taking a decision on her own. I do not have to tell her.”

Talking about the vote share, Sangma said: “Article 55 of the Constitution of India clearly states that the election of the president of India shall be done through secret ballot. It is the conscience of the nation which will speak, not the conscience of the electorate, which will work.”

The BJP announced its support to Sangma a day after he resigned from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which he co-founded with Maharashtra stalwart Sharad Pawar, now the agriculture minister, to join the presidential race.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Tamil Nadu’s Jayalalithaa were the first to back Sangma for the top post, saying no tribal candidate had so far been named for the post.

The NCP had decided to support UPA’s presidential candidate Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

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