He expects support from some Congressmen too

Claiming that his prospects in the July 19 presidential election are “very good,” the former Speaker, P.A. Sangma, said on Sunday that he was optimistic of a repeat of 1969 situation when V.V. Giri had defeated the official candidate of the Congress.

“Since there is no restriction, whip or any written direction in this election, I am hopeful of getting support of many MLAs and MPs. Therefore, my prospects in the elections are very good,” he told reporters here after meeting MLAs and MPs of the ruling Biju Janata Dal and the Opposition BJP.

Mr. Sangma claimed that 18 parties were already backing his candidature and he was expecting support from some Congress men too.

“Eighteen political parties have given commitment to support me. Some parties are likely to announce their decision in a day or two while others may not announce at all. We hope they will vote for us,” he said.

On whether he expected the support of Congress MPs and MLAs, he said, “Naturally, I hope so.”

“What you see is only black and white. Things are different because there can be no restriction on voters. I am hopeful that MLAs and MPs will vote for me according to their conscience and not on the party line,” he said, explaining how he was hoping to win despite having support of only 38 per cent in the electoral college.

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