NCP disowns Sangma`s bid to enter Prez race

NCP virtually disowned attempts by its party leader PA Sangma to enter the Presidential race.

New Delhi: NCP on Thursday virtually disowned attempts by its party leader P A Sangma to enter the Presidential race even as BJD and AIADMK announced their support to his candidature.

"I am not aware of any such development. Sangma has not spoken to us. We have had no discussions. We feel that with such a limited strength, we cannot aspire for such a major post," party chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said.

Pawar`s party is a key ally of the Congress-led UPA at the Centre since May 2004 and the two parties are also sharing power in Maharashtra since 2009. He had sometime back met Congress President Sonia Gandhi who has been holding consultations with UPA constituents and allies over the Presidential election.

The NCP chief`s reaction came close on the heels of Odisha Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik backing the 65-year-old tribal leader from the north eastern state of Meghalaya for the post of President of India.

"I think Mr Sangma ought to be candidate for the highest post for the Rashtrapati Bhavan," Patnaik said describing Sangma as a prominent tribal leader who had the experience of occupying the post of Lok Sabha Speaker.

In Chennai, AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said her party will support Sangma for President`s post.