New Delhi, June 21: Former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma on Thursday expressed his heartiest gratitude to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders for extending their support to him in the upcoming presidential election.
“Today, I am very happy that the BJP has taken a stand to back my candidature in the coming presidential election. It is not only BJP, but other allies like Akali Dal, JMM and smaller parties have spoken to me and they have told me that they are with the decision of the BJP and the NDA,” said Sangma.
“The JD-U and Shiv Sena had taken a different stand. I once again appeal to all the allies of the NDA to extend their support to my candidature. I will be making my tour programme and I will be going out all over to personally request all political parties, both in UPA and in NDA,” he added.
The BJP earlier today announced its support to Sangma to pit him against UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee for the presidential poll.
Sangma further said that he has resigned from the NCP to contest the presidential poll.
“Yesterday I have resigned from the primary membership of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and simultaneously I have also send my resignation from the membership of Meghalaya legislative assembly, which indicates that I am very much in the race. I am not a candidate of any single political party,” said Sangma.
“My name has been sponsored by two powerful chief ministers of the country, Naveen Patnaik of Orissa and Jayalalithaa of Tamil Nadu. I am grateful to both these tall leaders,” he added.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced their support for Sangma last month. Sangma is contesting the presidential poll as a candidate of the Tribal Forum of India.
The presidential elections will be held on July 19. The vote count will take place on July 22.
Pratibha Devisingh Patil’s term as President ends on July 24.(ANI)