As the NCP mounted pressure on him to drop out of the presidential race in favour of Mukherjee, Sangma took everyone by surprise when he conveyed his decision to resign through Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy.

A Garo tribal from Meghalaya, Sangma said, “The disinclination of the NCP to endorse my candidature amounts to a denial of the aspirations of the tribals of the country.

I cannot ignore the feelings of the tribals that Raisina Hill should not continue to be a distant dream for them.” Swamy, who described the former speaker as a close friend, said Sangma invited him to his house to say that he felt insulted after hearing suggestive rumours about him.