Sangma ignores NCP's advice, says he's in race for Prez as tribal candidate
New Delhi, June 15 (ANI): Former Lok Sabha speaker and NCP leader P.A. Sangma on Friday said he is still in the race for Rashtrapati Bhavan, but as a tribal candidate, and not as a NCP leader
NCP General Secretary D P Tripathi met Sangma earlier in the day and reportedly told him that the party will support the UPA candidate in the presidential poll, thereby suggesting that he opt out of the race.
When asked to comment on his interaction with Tripathi, Sangma said: "He asked me whether I am still in the race. I said I am very much in the race. I will remain in the race. He never told me that there is a message from Mr. Sharad Pawar requesting me to withdraw from the race, he did not tell me. He only asked me whether I am still in the race."
"I am standing not as a NCP candidate. I am standing on behalf of 100 million adivasis of this nation," he added.
Sangma pointed out that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had proposed his name as a candidate for the residential poll.
Sangma, who has been campaigning on the ground that the country should have a tribal president, has so far met various political leaders including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran Lal Krishna Advani.
Jayalalithaa and Patnaik had on May 17 announced their joint support for Sangma.
When asked to comment on former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdula Kalam's candidature for the coveted post, Sangma said: "Kalam has been President once. He will not take such a risk."
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee, who has been at loggerheads with the ruling Congress Party over the presidential candidate, has strongly pitched for A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for the coveted post, and indicated that in case no consensus emerges on his candidature there will be a contest.
Abdul Kalam served as the 11th President of India, succeeding K. R. Narayanan. He won the 2002 presidential election with an electoral vote of 922,884, surpassing 107,366 votes won by Lakshmi Sahgal. He served from July 25, 2002 to July 24, 2007.
Kalam was succeeded by Pratibha Devisingh Patil, whose term as President of India ends on July 24. (ANI)
Read More: Lal Krishna Advani | Lakshmi Narayan Mittal | Tamil Nadu | Rashtrapati Bhawan | Kot Abdul Khaliq | Abdul Wahidganj | Chak Abdul Sattar | Kalam | Sangma | Karala Kalam | Lakshmi Bazar | Lakshmi Coil | Lakshmi Narayan Pur | West Congress Para Ndso | Lakshmi Pabartak | Lakshmi Janardanpur | Jayalalithaa | Mamata Banerjee | Sharad Pawar | Naveen Patnaik
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