Prez poll: Pressure mounts on Sangma to withdraw

Pressure seems to be mounting on NCP leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma to withdraw from the presidential race, reports claimed.

Updated: Jun 20, 2012, 14:03 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Pressure seems to be mounting on Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma to withdraw from the presidential race, reports claimed on Wednesday.

The tribal leader, who is adamant on contesting the Presidential polls against UPA candidate and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, has been reportedly suggested by the party high command to either withdraw from the presidential race or get ready to face action.

However, softening its stand on the issue, the NCP sources today said that instead of firing him, the party will try to persuade him to change his mind.

"We have supported Pranab Mukherjee who is the best choice for the country for the top Constitutional post. Sangma should respect the party`s decision and should not contest the elections," senior NCP leader and Union Minister for Heavy Industries Praful Patel was quoted as saying.

Patel said that Sangma did not consult the party or senior leaders before announcing his candidature for the post. If he contests the election, it would violate party directive and invite action.
Sangma has been in the NCP firing line ever since he announced his decision to contest the Presidential poll. The tribal leader’s candidature has been backed by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jaylalithaa and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik for the July 19 Presidential election.

Sangma has also sought the support of NDA as well as Trinamool Congress, however, both of whom have given him no commitment so far.

NCP president, Sharad Pawar, recently described Pranab Mukherjee as the best presidential candidate, while indicating that efforts were underway to make Sangma pull out of the race.
Patel also informed that the issue of Sangma contesting the poll will be discussed at the NCP`s parliamentary board meeting on June 21.