Despite the fact that Agatha Sangma has largely stayed away from campaigning for her father, the NCP youth wing has been calling for her ouster from the party for asking MPs representing tribals to consider voting for PA Sangma in the presidential poll.
In a meeting with tribals in the Bastar area of Chhatisgarh on 25 June, Agatha, the minister of state for rural development, said it would be a welcome gesture if MPs representing tribal groups voted for her father.
“I would say that is up to them. It would be a welcome gesture. As a tribal, it would be a welcome gesture,” Agatha told reporters when repeatedly asked whether she felt all tribal MPs and MLAs should vote for her father.
However, leaders within the NCP have not taken kindly to the statements with some of them reportedly asking party president Sharad Pawar to show her the door, like her father. Sangma had resigned from the NCP after he defied calls from Pawar and other party leaders to withdraw from the presidential poll as the party was backing coalition partner Congress’ candidate Pranab Mukherjee.
“She is violating the coalition dharma…it is unethical. Her action will encourage indiscipline in the party. She should immediately be sacked from party and government,” NCP leader Rajeev Jha was quoted as saying in a Hindustan Times report.
Another report quoted the NCP’s youth wing general secretary Kumar Gyanendra saying, “The central committee has now made a formal complaint and is demanding Agatha Sangma’s ouster from the party.”
Incidentally, Sangma, who has the backing of the BJP and some parties in the NDA, has not asked his daughter to resign from the ministerial post and said she was mature enough to take her own decisions. Agatha had even stopped campaigning for her father after she was asked to by NCP leaders.
During a party meeting on 21 June, the NCP had also said it had decided to instruct all the party MPs and MLAs to vote for UPA Presidential candidate and said it would not be taking any action against Agatha since she had not violated party discipline.
However, given her recent statement and the new opposition to her presence in the party, the NCP leadership may decide otherwise.
With inputs from PTI