Agatha Sangma offers to quit as rural development minister

PA Sangma's daughter Agatha today reportedly offered to quit as Minister of State for Rural Development.

In a span of 10 days,  Agatha skipped three meetings, apparently to avoid media scrutiny on her father, PA Sangma, who was contesting the presidential election as a candidate of the BJP and some other opposition parties.

Despite the fact that Agatha had largely stayed away from campaigning for her father, there were reports earlier that the NCP youth wing has been calling for her ouster from the party.

 Agatha Sangma offers to quit as rural development minister

Agatha Sangma. AFP

In a meeting with tribals in the Bastar area of Chhatisgarh on 25 June, Agatha said it would be a welcome gesture if MPs representing tribal groups voted 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.

Questions have been raised on Agatha's continuance in Manmohan Singh's government. One view is that given the current political churn, the Congress would not like to alienate the northeast by asking her to quit.

On Thursday, Agatha was missing from the large retinue that accompanied the senior Sangma to Parliament House to file his papers for the 19 July presidential elections.

A week before that, she had skipped a meeting of her Nationalist Congress Party which was to take a view on Sangma’s candidature.

PA Sangma had however said that his daughter was “mature enough” to decide about her political future on her own.

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Updated Date: Jul 23, 2012 15:20:37 IST