New Delhi: With his party refusing to back him for the Presidential race, NCP leader PA Sangma on Monday said if necessary he would contest the election to the top post as an Independent.
"There is no going back. I will not let madam Jayalalithaa and Naveen Patnaik down, which would mean that if necessary I would contest as an Independent," Sangma told Times Now.
Sangma said he had sought appointments with political leaders including Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to press for a tribal candidate for the post of the President.
"But in the meantime, two powerful chief ministers Jayalalithaa and Naveen Patnaik have publicly announced support for my candidature," the NCP general secretary said.
"Therefore the situation is completely different. Now that these two leaders have openly supported and I have indications from other political parties, which will be known in a couple of days. Now that I have decided to contest supported by two very strong regional powers. There is no going back," Sangma said.
Sangma`s remarks came a day after Jayalalithaa spoke to BJP leader LK Advani, Samajwadi supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and other non-Congress leaders, including Left parties, trying to enlist support for the NCP leader.
NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has, however, refused to come out in support of Sangma and said his party will abide by UPA`s "collective decision". "We are part of UPA and will stick to UPA`s collective decision", he had said.
Meanwhile, Sangma met CPI leader D Raja today seeking Left parties` support in the July elections to the top post.
Raja said Sangma met him and handed over a letter signed by tribal MPs who are canvassing for a tribal leader to be elected as President.
"He told me that he is meeting leaders of several parties. He sought our support. Left parties are meeting on Wednesday. Let us see," Raja told PTI.