With Odisha and Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers Naveen Patnaik and J Jayalalithaa supporting former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma for the president’s post, the NCP leader yesterday said all political parties should support a tribal candidate.
Thanking BJD chief Patnaik and AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa, Sangma said, “I am very happy and extremely grateful to both the leaders that they have been very responsive to our tribal aspiration, and on behalf of all the tribals, which are more than 30 million people, I convey my sincere thanks to them.”
“I would appeal to leaders of all other political parties to follow suit and support our cause,” Sangma told a television channel. Replying to a question on his party chief Sharad Pawar’s statement that the NCP will not project any candidate as it has only nine MPs, Sangma said, “I am not representing NCP, I am representing the voice of tribals, and in our group there are MPs, MLAs (legislators) and ex-MPs from all parties.”
“We have Karia Munda, who is Lok Sabha deputy speaker and is a BJP leader; Nand Kumar Sai, who along with me met Jayalalithaa in Chennai, is a BJP leader. I spoke to Kishore (Chandra) Deo, the tribal affairs minister and he told me we should fight for our cause and there is nothing to do with A, B or C political party... we belong to different political parties but represent the tribal community,” he said.
‘Dada for PM’
Of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as a presidential candidate, Sangma said, “He is very highly qualified candidate for any post, even that of the prime minister, why only of president or vice president? He should become prime minister... I wish him well.”
“But like him, there are so many others who are very qualified and so many others who have occupied the post, but this time president should be from
a tribal community,” he stressed.
Sangma is eminently qualified for the post: Amma
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa extended her party’s support to the candidature of former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma for the post of president. “The AIADMK takes pride in supporting the candidature of Shri PA Sangma for the Office of President of India,” said Jayalalithaa in a statement.
Referring to the letter she had received from Sangma and his meeting with her, Jayalalithaa said AIADMK has decided to support his candidature after due internal consultation as well as discussions with Odisha Chief Minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik.
Jayalalithaa said that during the past 60 years of the Indian republic, eminent personalities belonging to various communities and diverse walks of life have graced the office of the president, but no one belonging to a tribal community has had the opportunity so far. “He not only belongs to a tribal community but is also eminently qualified to be the President of our great nation,” she said.