Tribal Forum of India to float new party: Sangma

July 31st, 2012 - 7:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Shillong, July 31 (IANS) The Tribal Forum of India, which projected former Lok Sabha speaker Purno A. Sangma as its presidential candidate, is scheduled to meet next month to declare formation of a “tribal-centric” political party in India.

“A core committee of the Tribal Forum of India would be meeting at New Delhi and a delegation of the forum will meet the chief election commissioner to discuss the possibility of launching of a new political party,” Sangma told journalists here.

Though, Sangma refused to divulge the name of the new political party, but said “the new political party will tribal-centric but it’s open for all”.

However, sources closes to Sangma said the new party would be known as National Indigenous Peoples’ Party of India (NIPPI).

Sangma, a tribal Garo leader from western Meghalaya who was backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party, the AIADMK, Biju Janata Dal and Akali Dal, lost to United Progressive Alliance’s Pranab Mukherjee in the July 19 election.

However, Sangma said his candidature had given a voice to the country’s tribals.

“The last presidential election had given an opportunity for tribal people to articulate their aspiration and hope. It has brought political awareness to the tribal people and it will be the beginning of the united movement of the tribals for their rights,” he said.

Tribal leaders from across the country will be meeting at Raipur in Chhattisgarh Aug 9 to take stock of the outcome of the presidential election and to chalk out a future plans for the tribals, he added.

Sangma announced that he would never contest any future state election from Meghalaya and he was not interested in being elected to the Rajya Sabha, as he desired to win a direct election.

“I may not even contest the Lok Sabha elections from Meghalaya. There are around 50 reserved seats in the country. I can contest from anywhere in India,” he said after meeting with tribal leaders from Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Assam to take stock on the post presidential elections.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which he founded along with Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar in 1999 after breaking away from the Congress, refused to endorse his presidential candidature, forcing him to quit the party June 20.

According to sources close to Sangma, the new party will draw most of its members from the NCP who had backed him during the presidential election.

Thirteen NCP legislators in Meghalaya voted for Sangma in the presidential election, going against the party decision to support Mukherjee.

“The proposed party banks on millions of indigenous people across the region ahead of assembly elections in three northeastern states,” said a Sangma aide.

Tribal states like Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura are scheduled to go for assembly polls in February next year.

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