Filing his nomination papers in the Lok Sabha this afternoon, former Lok Sabha speaker and tribal leader PA Sangma thanked Naveen Patnaik, Jayalalithaa, the BJP and NDA for supporting his candidature, and announced that he would start campaigning from the 30th of June.
Sangma was flanked by BJP leaders LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, while BJD leader Naveen Patnaik was also present.
Revealing his immediate plans, Sangma said he would go to his hometown of Tura where a inter- religious prayer meeting will be held.
From there he is due travel to Guwahati and New Delhi for Gadkari’s wedding before traveling out of the capital to campaign further.
“I am very happy to get the support of such politics. Tribal from Northeast. Very insignificant place. And yet I have received so much love and affection”, said Sangma.
Sangma earlier claimed that tribal leaders cutting across party lines are unitedly behind him and took potshots at Congress for not standing by his candidature for the President’s post despite enjoying the support of tribals for decades.
“I only want to express that tribals in India have all along stood by Congress party. We had expected that Congress party would welcome and consider a tribal as its candidate,” Sangma said, maintaining that Congress President Sonia Gandhi did not even give him an appointment for which he waited for three days.
“Many political parties have positively responded to our (Tribal Forum of India) request. But the largest political party with whom tribals have stood all along–the Indian National Congress–did not come out to support the cause of tribals. They will know the effect of this action,” he said.
The former Lok Sabha Speaker claimed tribals in India “are united today and we will move in future together with tribal unity which has never been seen before in India.”
Sangma appealed to MPs and MLAs to vote according to their conscience and claimed that there would be cross voting in his favour. “Today is the victory of tribal unity that a tribal is
filing his nomination for President of India’s post,” he said.