New Delhi: Former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma, who is planning to contest the Presidential election, resigned from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Wednesday. The NCP had earlier warned Sangma that he could face strict action for his insistence on contesting the Presidential election despite the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), of which the NCP is a part of, nominating Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as its candidate.
Announcing Sangma's resignation Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy said that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would meet at 6 pm on Wednesday at LK Advani's residence to decide on the president election. NCP chief and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar accepted Sangma's resignation.
"Sangma had no option but to resign from the NCP. I appreciate what Sangma has done. Today the NDA is meeting at 6 pm at Advani's residence. We are trying to build consensus on Sangma. Sangma has resigned from the NCP for self respect," said Swamy after meeting Sangma.
The NDA will meet at LK Advani\'s residence to decide on the president election, said Subramanian Swamy after meeting Sangma.
Swamy also appealed to all non-UPA parties including the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress to support Sangma's candidature. "Mamata is one of the few politicians in this country who has shown some spine. I thank her for that," said Swamy while referring to Mamata's stand of not supporting Congress-led alliance’s nominee Pranab Mukherjee despite her party being a part of the Central Government.
In his resignation letter Sangma wrote: "The Tribal Forum of India was pleased to project me as the candidate for election to the office of President of India. Honourable Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa have also extended their support for my candidature. I have also received promises of support from senior leaders from non-Congress parties including from leaders in the National Democratic Alliance."
"However, NCP of which I am a member has not found it possible to endorse my candidature. I have been a founder member of the party. I believe that I have also worked hard for building up the base of the party in several parts of India. The disinclination of NCP to endorse my candidature amounts to a denial of the aspirations of the tribals of the country," he wrote in the letter.
But key NDA partners like the Janata Dal (United) and the Shiv Sena are against putting up a candidate against Mukherjee, putting a question mark over Sangma’s bid. The Shiv Sena has already declared that its MPs and legislators would vote for Mukherjee.
Sangma's candidature has been endorsed by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for the July 19 election but he is unlikely to give a tough fight to Pranab Mukherjee. Mukherjee has got the support of all the UPA constituents except the Trinamool Congress, which had been rooting for former president APJ Abdul Kalam before he decided against contesting.
The UPA also has the support of the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Lok Jan Shakti party of Ram Vilas Paswan.