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Updated: June 12, 2012 15:08 IST

Jayalalithaa steps up campaign for Sangma

    Ramakrishnan T.
    Vinay Kumar
Comment (14)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalallithaa with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. File Photo: Rajeev Bhatt.
The Hindu PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalallithaa with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. File Photo: Rajeev Bhatt.

He has all qualifications to become President, she tells national leaders

Even though his own Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has remained lukewarm in pitching him into the presidential race, Purno A. Sangma's candidature for the country's top post got a shot in the arm as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary Jayalalithaa on Sunday intensified her campaign to drum up support for the former Lok Sabha Speaker.

The AIADMK chief got in touch with a number of national leaders to seek support for Mr. Sangma. She spoke on the phone to senior BJP leader L.K. Advani; Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat; senior CPI leader A.B. Bardhan; Telugu Desam Party president Chandrababu Naidu; Samajwadi Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh and Shiromani Akali Dal leader and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The AIADMK leader told them that Mr. Sangma, a tribal leader and hailing from the northeast, had all the qualifications to become the President, according to a release issued by the AIADMK.

This followed her appeal on Friday to all parties to rise above political considerations and support Mr. Sangma.

On Thursday, Ms. Jayalalithaa and her Odisha counterpart and Biju Janata Dal leader, Naveen Patnaik, announced their decision to back the former Speaker for the top post. On Tuesday, Mr. Sangma called on the AIADMK leader in Chennai.

In Tiruchi, Lok Jan Shakti Party president and former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan indicated that his party would support the UPA-backed candidate.

“I met Congress president Sonia Gandhi a few days ago and conveyed to her that we would support the UPA decision,” he told reporters on Sunday.

Responding to a query on his party's position on the candidature of Mr. Sangma, Mr. Paswan replied that “so many names are coming up. We are not opposed to anybody, as all are our friends.”

Along the same lines, Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati said the picture on the presidential election, scheduled for July, was not clear as neither the UPA nor the NDA had announced their nominees.

On Friday, NCP chief and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said his party's stand would be consistent with that of the UPA. Mr. Sangma, who had met Mr. Pawar the same day, said the NCP leader had told him that the party was part of the UPA and his stand on the issue would be consistent with it.

Mr. Sangma, 64, has said that he is part of a forum which is pushing for a tribal leader to become the next President.

The NCP, a key UPA ally since 2004, on Thursday virtually brushed aside the efforts of Mr. Sangma to enter the presidential race.

Even as Mr. Sangma continues to lobby hard with tribal legislators, the Congress has said that he lacks both the “political and ethical stature expected of the nation's Rashtrapati.”

Sangma was an entirely acceptable candidate until the day he confessed that he
had apologised to Sonia Gandhi for having called her a foreigner. That status
hasn't changed as far as we go. But more pertinently, the President is the
Commander- in Chief of the Armed Forces. What sort of authority that this
elevated post calls for , can we expect from someone who cowers down to her, just
to achieve his personal objective? This is exactly how Manmohan Singh fell in the
eyes of the public, when he called Sonia Gandhi his leader. A leader is the first
among equals and therefore, cannot have his own leader. Public perceptions
matter, and Sangma lost it there.

from:  leela krishnaswamy
Posted on: Jun 5, 2012 at 05:56 IST

while anyone is better compared to the present incumbent, we should have someone who really worked for the people and the nation in the seat of luxury.

at this point in time certainly Team Anna and co come to mind - certainly all the tons of army men (not the top brass who anyway already lead a posh life) - but those that serve at the frontiers

given that president's office is no more than a rubber stamp and an office of pomp and luxury we should accord it to someone who has slogged, and done so for the nation !

from:  Sankar
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 11:16 IST

If it's not Dr. Kalaam, it should be Sangma. He is a tribal, a Christian and from North East. If he becomes the President he'll be the first Christian to occupy Rashrapathi Bhaven. His elevation will help integrate the North Eastern states more fully into the Indian Union. There are many groups in this region still who do not accept that they are part of India. They're also supported by foreign countries and their agents.

I remember how Congress Party shot down P.C.Alexnder's name as President, proposed by BJP, some years ago. BJP should not have any reservation now against Sangma, as he is a well-known Christian.

from:  P.N.BENJAMIN
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 09:51 IST

Congress speaks of 'Ethical Stature'! What a cruel joke!! Our friends should realise that right from a Peon to Rashtrapati, every one in the service of the nation should have this sterling quality. Come on, Congress friends,reveal to the nation, your action plan and the time frame to firmly establish this noblest quality in the public life of every one who plays a role to raise the stature of India in the eyes of the world!

from:  Shekar
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 08:44 IST

Now that Ms Jayalalalith and another Cm, backs Mr Sangma,and Now BJP also sounded its backing sangma only, there are few parties, who can now support Mr.Pranab Mukerjee prposed by congreess which has become now a Minority party amongst others who support Mr sangma.So, let congress also takes the majority opinion, and it will be wise, if Pranab Mukerjee himself propose Mr.Sangma in the house with the support of MRs.Sonia,being the congress chief.Let us hope for the best.and created History of having selected a Good person from Tribal.

from:  vaidya
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 08:00 IST

the Congress has said that he lacks both the “political and ethical stature expected
of the nation's Rashtrapati.”......

the same party supported Pratibha Patil..no offense Mrs.Patil..but I have none..

Mr.Sangma has much more political experience and brains..

from:  Naveen
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 05:20 IST

It is a given that only a qualified INDIAN would be chosen as the President of India. Fortunately, there are so many. Hence our founding fathers made it a convention to rotate this titular position between various communities --- South, North, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh etc. Especially, those who are underrepresented because of their numbers and/or socio-economic status. Indeed, on Mahatma Gandhi's insistence Nehru asked Ambedkar to draft the Indian Constitution precisely to protect and further the interests of the scheduled castes and tribes. I would recommend Apex Court Justice Katju's (2011) judgment on protection of the Tribals to these latter day patriots who feign super nationalism and champion the 'tribal' doctrines of Manu.
It is heartening that Jaya and Patnaik have proved their credentials (Periyar, Anna & Biju). Would those who claim Ambedkar-Lohia heritage follow suit?

from:  Thiru V. Ramakrishnan
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 03:23 IST

The move of CM/TN is on the right step. Congress thinks that it can
choose the president as it likes. This must be broken. It appears
Congress wants only yes man for that post. If Mr. Sangma himself wants to
contest, it must also be welcome. Who knows he may be the best
president.

from:  R. Ganesan
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 03:18 IST

position of President in India is suited to the man who has earned as much honor in the nation that he may give a right message to the coming generation of India and Mr Sangma is the one. India would have that person on its top position who is the most deserving for that. And as a true nationalist and having served on the top position like speaker of Lok Sabha, Mr P A Sangma is the most suitable person for the post of First Citizen of India. Im inclined to Mr A Kalam but its also true that Mr Sangma is the best alternative of Mr A Kalam, if the former president doesnt wish to become Indian President again.............

from:  santosh tiwari
Posted on: May 20, 2012 at 20:24 IST

i fully support sangma for presidency as he knows the roots of the problems facing indigenous and outcast people

from:  sagadevan
Posted on: May 20, 2012 at 18:58 IST

The President of this country should be an eminent apolitical citizen, somebody who has made huge contributions to nation building and the society at large. Unlike a career politician "who's run out of favor" like P A Sangma. Opportunists like him have no achievement to talk about, and hence the attempt to manipulate the 'Tribal' tag. He has already started dynastic politics by making his daughter Agatha Sangma an MP. By nominating himself, he's trying to ensure that the good times at the cost of public money continues.

from:  Sayan
Posted on: May 20, 2012 at 18:32 IST

Selvi Jayalalithaa is one of the most globally respectable leaders in India today. Selvi Jayalalithaa should take this opportunity to rally support for Sangma and she can aim for the top PM job to clean up India from corruption and mockery.

from:  Shiva
Posted on: May 20, 2012 at 18:06 IST

Sangma as the presidential candidate is not a good decision. He is another puppet president in the making. The current Vice-President Hamid Ansari or the ever-effervescent Dr. Abdul Kalam is the best option.

from:  Alok
Posted on: May 20, 2012 at 16:55 IST

I am sure P.A.Sangma will not win and BJP and Communists will not support her move.I think high chances for Pranb.

from:  duraisamy
Posted on: May 20, 2012 at 15:55 IST
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