With Pranab Mukherjee having a clear edge in the Presidential poll, PA Sangma is now hoping for a "miracle" to see himself emerge a winner, even as he denied being a "tool" in the hands of those supporting him.
A file photo of PA Sangma. (Reuters)
"Yes, miracles can and do happen in this world. It happens. I believe in miracles. You are right. I do believe in miracles," Sangma said when suggested that only a miracle could ensure victory for him as over 60% of the electorates have already extended their support to Pranab Mukherjee.
Sangma said it was not right to tick him off even before the Presidential poll and claimed that God was with him.
"Politics moves very fast. This is politics. In politics anything can happen. Things will change everyday, you just watch," he told Karan Thapar in Devil's Advocate programme on CNN-IBN.
The tribal leader denied being used a "tool" by BJP to win over other political allies or by Naveen Patnaik to woo 25% tribals in Odisha.
"Not at all," he said. He, however, suggested that even media is playing as a tool in someone's hands and said, "We are all tools. You are a tool for someone. I am a tool for someone. Don't bring in these petty things."
Sangma who is supported by BJP, AIADMK and BJD said his candidature "will do good to secularism of this nation".
He also downplayed the "anti-Christian" stance of both BJP and AIADMK in the past and said, "Religious problems are everywhere" and cited examples of countries like the United Kingdom and the United States where only Anglicals and non-Catholics respectively were made prime ministers.
When pointed out that Sangh outfit, the ideology of which is followed by BJP, have been blamed for Kandhamal killings in Orissa and Graham Stein's murder, Sangma said, "Forgiveness is the essence of Christianity. We, as Christians, do not keep things permanently. Christianity is the biggest religion in the world. We don't go by small incidents here and there. It has a big heart."
"Where is the proof that BJP has done it (Kandhamal killings)? Don't jump to conclusions. Don't make such wild allegations," he said, adding that one should not go by the actions of individuals.
On whether his support from BJP and AIADMK contradicted the principles for which he stood for, Sangma said, "India is a large democracy. Congress is the largest party. BJP is the second largest party. In such huge political parties, few incidents here and there do happen, will happen. You can't judge it by that."
"I am standing for principles, for democracy, for the welfare of poor people. I am very clear in my conscience," he said.
Sangma brushed aside reports that it was "wrong" on his part to contest the presidential poll against odds and negated suggestions that the move would end his political career.
"There is no end to a political career. I am just 65 now. I don't need to join a political party to contest, my margin never goes down, it always goes up," he said.
He said it was not his obsession to contest for President but his right to assert. "I am only asserting my right as a citizen of India, as a tribal, as a person coming from the north eastern region."
Brushing aside as "speculation" reports of Mamata Banerjee denying him time to meet, he said, "I have requested for time. I am waiting for the reply. I will (get time). Still there is time. It's almost one month left (for the poll)."