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Updated: May 19, 2012 01:06 IST

Sangma's entry creates a buzz in Presidential race

Smita Gupta
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A file photo of P.A. Sangma. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
The Hindu
A file photo of P.A. Sangma. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Congress still playing cards close to its chest

A day after the AIADMK and the Biju Janata Dal endorsed Purno A. Sangma's candidature for President, the former Lok Sabha Speaker's chances in the Rashtrapati Bhavan sweepstakes dominated informal discussions across political parties. With Parliament still in session on Friday, conversations in its corridors centred round the significance of the move.

The most credible explanation came from BJD circles: since a candidate proposed by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance would not find favour with Opposition parties not inclined towards the BJP, and a Left-sponsored nominee would be opposed by the NDA, a name floated by the AIADMK and the BJD — both currently unattached to any political formation — might find readier acceptance across the Opposition. The BJD sources said that of late the Chief Ministers of Odhisha and Tamil Nadu — Naveen Patnaik and Jayalalithaa — tended to be in close touch with their counterparts in West Bengal, Bihar and Gujarat, Mamata Banerjee, Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi.

Would such a move succeed? Perhaps not, agreed the BJD sources, as the numbers will favour the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, provided it stays intact and gets the backing of the Left Parties and the support of either the Samajwadi Party or the Bahujan Samaj Party. Besides, Mr Sangma's own party, the Nationalist Congress Party, the sources pointed out, clarified on Friday that it would stay with the UPA. On Thursday, NCP supremo and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar told journalists that Mr. Sangma had not spoken to him on the subject; on Friday, when the former Speaker met him, Mr. Pawar told him that the NCP was part of the UPA and his stand on the issue would be consistent with it.

The BJP, on its part, has been coy about Mr. Sangma's candidature, even though his name comes from the AIADMK, a party it has been assiduously wooing, hoping it will swell the NDA ranks before the next polls.

Meanwhile, in the Congress, no new names have emerged after those of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-President Hamid Ansari. On Friday, MPs of many non-Congress parties, including the BSP and the Left, concurred that if Mr. Mukherjee became the UPA's official candidate, he could easily find support across Parliament and emerge as a consensus candidate, considering his stature and standing.

Most MPs of the Congress The Hindu spoke to said the possibility of Mr. Sangma emerging as a challenge to its candidate — whoever it is — was remote, as they were confident that the UPA and the parties that support it from outside had an edge in terms of numbers.

But even as the pros and cons of Mr. Sangma's candidature were discussed, it was evident that a majority in the Congress view him with disfavour, given the manner of his exit from the party in the late 1990s. A Congress secretary Praveen Davar even issued a statement, accusing Mr. Sangma of playing the BJP's game, and saying, “Mr. Purno Sangma lacks both the political and ethical stature expected of the nation's Rashtrapati.” But as Mr. Sangma continues to lobby tribal legislators, his entry into the race has begun to generate some excitement, with some MPs even saying his entry will force the Congress to declare its candidate soon.

As far as the Congress is concerned, party sources said that while the names of Mr. Mukherjee and Mr. Ansari were still on the table, it was possible that a dark horse could emerge in a couple of weeks— a name that might help the party in one of the States going to the polls over the next two years.

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Mr.PA.Sangma is a qualified leader to grace the highest office.Once he was a popular leader not only in his home state Meghalaya but also in Delhi power-house.His popularity somehow is faded on the ground that includes:
1.The Congress made him federal minister and then the speaker(L.S) but he later left the party.
2.He along with Mr.Pawar formed the NCP party,but he left the party.
3.He then formed a NCP splinter group that merged with Trinamul Congress of Mamata Banerjee,but later deserted the partnership.
4.Mr.PA.Sangma returned to NCP under the leadership of great comrade Pawar again, who recieved him smilingly back.Mr.Pawar got his(Sangma's) daughter a state ministership in the UPA government.
5.Before announcing his desire for the highest job,Mr.Sangma did not consult with Mr.Pawar.
Infine,Mr.PA.Sangma is an wonderful and resourceful person and a dedicated politician too,but was not static with his political aim,objective and standing.However,Mr.Sangma deserves the highest job.

from:  Tariq Aziz
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 20:44 IST

We have had persons from all community as President except a Parsi or a Christian. It is time to give them a chance.

from:  Onkar Sharma
Posted on: May 22, 2012 at 14:28 IST

This time the presidential election is going to be interesting. This is also likely to give some head ache to the party bosses considering the lack of absolute majority to elect the president on their own. As reasoned in the article, a dark horse is likely to emerge as a surprise candidate in view of the diametrical views and lack of consensus.

from:  Bichu Muttathara
Posted on: May 19, 2012 at 17:56 IST

Mr Sangma is good and Perfect person of Indian President.
I like the looking for President of India in our Country.
They have Tribal Person and Tribal Community then also they have various post of experience of Indian Leadership. Because They have Member of Parliment in the Loksabha Speaker of 8 Time. that is very good and good persinality.I thank of the Sau. Jalalita Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and party of Biju Janta Dal Support of Presidentship and also support of Maharashtra Leader Mr. Ramdash Athvale. I also like the President Look the Mr. P.A. Sangm.
This New History of India also great situation of President because the Scheduled caste Category person Made the President Mr. K.R.Narayanan & Muslim President of Mr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam. all category person seen the President of India. But First time situtation after 1947 & 1950 getting the Tribal Person given the chance of President of India. Thanking You !

Posted on: May 19, 2012 at 14:04 IST

A Complete Gentleman in current Indian Politics, Mr Sangma looks like right choice for the Top job.

from:  Satyanarayan
Posted on: May 19, 2012 at 00:30 IST

The Statement of Congress Secerataty Praveen Davar is similar to the observations of BJP's Sushma Swaraj on Hamid Ansari. While the press was too critical of her Statement, how come Praveeen Davar gets unnoticed? So much for our Press Dharma.

I wish our Indian Press reports based on facts and not on their view points alone. Also, Praveen Davar says P Sangma lacks ethical stature? On what basis? Is it because he was critical of Sonia Gandhi?

from:  Nan Maran
Posted on: May 18, 2012 at 23:24 IST
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