Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief Naveen Patnaik on Monday reiterated his party`s support to former Lok Sabha speaker P A Sangma even as former president A P J Abdul Kalam expressed his unwillingness to contest the presidential poll.
"About Sri Sangma, my stand and the BJD`s stand remained same as earlier. I had made it clear a day before. We maintained the same view as expressed about a month ago," Patnaik told reporters replying a question on the presidential polls.
Stating that the BJD was the first to come out in support of P A Sangma, the Chief Minister said that the former Lok Sabha Speaker is a distinguished tribal leader, a Christian and also hailed from North Eastern region of the country.
"Sangmaji is most appropriate and right candidate for the country`s highest post, the Rashtrapati," Patnaik said claiming that his party`s stand continues to remain same even after a month. Patnaik had announced name of Sangma on May 17.
Justifying his stand to back Sangma, the BJD supremo said "Odisha also has vast tribal population while Sangmaji is a renowned tribal leader."