Agatha Sangma skips NCP meet on presidential poll

New Delhi: A meeting of the NCP Parliamentary Board took place this evening to discuss the Presidential poll but Union Minister Agatha Sangma was conspicuous by her absence.

But party leaders scotched any speculation about the absence of Agatha, the daughter of PA Sangma who has entered the presidential race after quitting the party.

Agatha Sangma. Image courtesy PIB

Minutes before the start of the meeting, Agatha informed party chief Sharad Pawar that she would be unable to attend due to some "unavoidable reasons".

The NCP Parliamentary Board decided to instruct all the party MPs and MLAs to vote for UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee, NCP general secretary DP Tripathi told reporters in New Delhi.

Asked whether any action would be taken against Agatha, he said the Minister of State for Rural Development and NCP MP from Tura had not violated party discipline.

"Miss Agatha Sangma continues to be an honourable member of the NCP and the party's representative in the Union Council of Ministers," Tripathi said.

On whether action would be taken against Agatha if she campaigns for her father in the presidential polls, he said "hypothetical questions are not taken seriously by political parties".

To questions that Sangma was running his presidential campaign from his daughter's official residence, Tripathi shot back, "Have a heart, can't a father stay in his daughter's house."

He said that Agatha had not made any statement in support of her father's presidential bid after it was pointed out by Pawar that she, as the NCP representative in the Union Ministry, has to abide by the party directive.

PTI