Opposition-backed presidential candidate P.A. Sangma Sunday expressed confidence of winning the July 19 poll and said he was still hopeful of support from the Trinamool Congress in his race to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Addressing a press conference here after meeting legislators and MPs from some of the northeastern states, Sangma said that he has got the support from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), the Nationalist Congress Party's (NCP) northeastern legislators, and the Mizo National Front (MNF).
The Mizoram Peoples' Conference (MPC), United Democratic Party (UDP) and Hills State Peoples' Democratic Party (HSPDP) of Meghalaya, Manipur Peoples' Party (MPP) of Manipur and Peoples' Party of Arunachal Pradesh (PPA) were also supporting him, he added."I am hopeful of winning the presidential polls as I still believe in magic. Just recall the body language of Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee and me during our meeting recently. I am a hopeful that Trinamool will support me," said Sangma, who is also backed by the AIADMK and the Biju Janata Dal.
"There are cracks in NDA (National Democratic Alliance), UPA (United Progressive Alliance) and Left parties. I am appealing to the conscience of the electoral college. You cast your vote according to your choice. Both me and Pranab Mukherjee are independent candidates," he said.
"This election will see repetition of 1969 Presidential polls where congress backed candidate Nilam Sanjeeva Reddy was defeated by V.V. Giri," he said.
Sangma also said that this election is unprecedented in the sense that there is huge debate how a presidential candidate should be. "The president is not just a titular head and rubber head. He has to be sensitive to the issues confronting the country," he added.
Sangma, who called himself as a representative of 100 million tribals and the Christian community, also appealed the legislators to excise the conscience vote in accordance with the provision of secret ballot as given in the Constitution.