Sangma quits NCP to contest Presidential poll

P A Sangma

NEW DELHI: Determined to contest the Presidential poll, founder member of NCP P A Sangma today resigned from the party which was opposed to his candidature for the top post and had warned him of disciplinary action.

The former Lok Sabha Speaker, whose candidature for Presidentship is being pushed by AIADMK and BJD, said he had received “promises of support from senior leaders of non-Congress parties, including those in the NDA”.

He sent his resignation letter to party chief Sharad Pawar soon after Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy, a constituent of NDA, met him apparently to pledge support.

“I hereby tender my resignation from the primary membership of NCP with immediate effect. I place on record my deep gratitude to the President, other office bearers and rank and file of NCP for the courtesies extended to me by them at personal level while I was a member of the party,” he wrote in his resignation letter.

In a statement, Sangma said he had “no option but to resign” from NCP “without any personal intent whatsoever of embarrassing the party and its leadership”.

Talking about the circumstances in which he had to quit, the 64-year-old leader said, “disinclination of the NCP to endorse my candidature amounts to a denial of the aspirations of the tribals of the country.”

He noted that his candidature had been projected by the Tribal Forum of India and he cannot “ignore the feeling of the tribals that Raisina Hill (Rashtrapati Bhavan) should not continue to be a distant dream for them.”. Sangma quit NCP at a time when the NDA is divided over supporting him as the Presidential candidate. While BJP is keen to support Sangma, its ally Shiv Sena has openly refused to back him and favored UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee.

JD-U, another key constituent of NDA, also has reservations to supporting Sangma.

Noting that the NCP, of which he was a founder member, had “not found it possible to endorse” his candidature, Sangma said, “I believe that I have also worked hard for building up the base of the party in several parts of India.

“Indeed, the national status of the party has been significantly due to the mass support from among the tribals who constitute one-hundred million of our population and among whom I have ceaselessly worked.”

He pointed out that Chief Ministers of Odisha Naveen Patnaik and Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa have “publicly extended support to my candidature” and said that he had also “received promises of support from senior leaders of non-Congress parties including those in the NDA.” -PTI

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