Sangma seeks support, not many takers (Lead)May 22nd, 2012 - 9:08 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma Tuesday urged political parties to back his candidature for the president’s post, but there appeared to be no fresh takers for him.
“We hope other political groups including UPA and NDA will respond to the call of conscience by the tribal people,” he told reporters here, reiterating that India had not had a president from the tribal community.
But apart from the AIADMK and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), who jointly proposed his candidature May 17, no other party has responded favourably to him.
Sangma Tuesday met Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Karat of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) as well as Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to plead his case.
He has also sought a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, whom he had dubbed a “foreigner” in 1999 when he walked out of the Congress party.
The Congress, BJP and Left have not yet backed Sangma. Sources in all three parties indicate that he is not their preferred choice for the top job.
Sangma’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has said it will go with the choice of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), of which it is a constituent.
Sangma’s daughter, Minister of State for Rural Development Agatha Sangma, told a news channel that she was hopeful.
“The UPA will take a collective decision and I hope it will be on the positive side,” she told Times Now.
On Tuesday, Sangma met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here and then issued a call to political parties to join the “common cause of projecting a tribal as a presidential candidate”.
Patnaik praised Sangma as the most suitable candidate for the job — words used by his Tamil Nadu counterpart J. Jayalalithaa earlier.
“I was so happy Patnaikjii responded firstly, and then, Jayalalithaaji also. On behalf of myself, on behalf of the entire tribal population of the country, I would like to express my gratitude,” Sangma said.
Patnaik and Jayalalithaa, who are known to enjoy a good rapport, sprang a surprise last week by announcing their joint support for Sangma.
President Pratibha Patil’s term ends July 25.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has begun preparatory meetings for holding the presidential elections.
Until Sangma’s name cropped up, the only people who were being widely talked about as likely candidates were Vice President Hamid Ansari and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has, however, come out against Mukherjee.
She said she will prefer Lok Sabha Meira Kumar, Gopal Gandhi or former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as the next president, not Mukherjee.
- BJD, AIADMK back Sangma for presidency (Intro Roundup) - May 17, 2012
- Sangma pushes himself for president - May 22, 2012
- BJD, AIADMK back Sagma for president (Roundup) - May 17, 2012
- President race: Mamata hedges on Pranab, backs Meira, Kalam (Lead) - May 21, 2012
- Mayawati silent on Sangma's bid at presidency - May 19, 2012
- President should be from tribal community: Sangma - May 17, 2012
- Presidential poll divides left, right, centre - Jul 10, 2012
- Sangma appeals to NDA allies for support (Lead) - Jun 21, 2012
- Let Sangma read the constitution: Bengal Congress chief - Jun 24, 2012
- President race: Mamata hedges on Pranab, backs Meira (Second lead) - May 21, 2012
- BJP, AIADMK to coordinate on presidential poll: Advani (Second Lead) - Jun 14, 2012
- Determined to contest, Sangma quits NCP (Second Lead) - Jun 20, 2012
- Will decide on Sangma after consultations: Advani - Jun 15, 2012
- I will be India's next president: Purno Sangma (Interview) - Jul 02, 2012
- Sangma is candidate of communal forces: NCP (Lead) - Jun 21, 2012
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