New Delhi, May 17: With Odisha and Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers Naveen Patnaik and J.Jayalalithaa supporting former Lok Sabha speaker P.A.Sangma for the president’s post, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Thursday 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 would convey my sincere thanks to them.”
“I would appeal to leaders of all other political parties to follow the suit and support our cause,” Sangama told NDTV.
Replying to a question on his party chief Sharad Pawar’s statement that the party 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 (Bharatiya Janata Party) leader; Nand Kumar Sai, who along with me met Jayalalithaa in Chennai, is a BJP leader. I spoke to (V.) 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.
On Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as a presidential candidate, Sangma said: “He is very highly qualified candidate for any post even for prime minister… why only for president or vice president? He should become prime minister… I wish him all 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 tribal community,” he stressed.