Undaunted by the threat of disciplinary action by his own party, the NCP leader, PA Sangma on Sunday insisted on contesting the Presidential poll for which he has sought the support of NDA as well as Trinamool Congress, both of whom have given him no commitment.
"I am still in the race. I have made an appeal to all political parties to support my candidature," Sangma said, adding he has spoken to many of the NDA leaders to support him.
Sangma said he has also contacted Mamata Banerjee soliciting her backing for his candidature. "I had spoken to Mamata Bannerjee day before yesterday, late in the evening. I have appealed to her also to support my candidature."
He added that Bannerjee was insistent on the name of former President APJ Abdul Kalam.
"I said (to Mamata) that Dr Kalam has opted out of the race therefore you should support me," Sangma said.
In Kolkata, Trinamool MP Kunal Ghose said Banerjee had told Sangma to support Kalam in the event of the former President contesting the election and withdraw from the race.
Sharad Pawar, chief of NCP which has fully backed the candidature of UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee, has asked Sangma to opt out of the Presidential poll and even threatened action against him if he persisted.
On whether he is defying his own party by contesting for the top most post, he said, "I have maintained right from the beginning that I am a candidate of Tribal Forum of India which has nothing to with any political party."
As a candidate of the Tribal Forum I have gone across to all the political parties, appealing for support, Sangma said, adding that, "It is very clear that I am not a NCP candidate."
On whether he is prepared for any action taken by his party against him, he said, "Sharad Pawar (NCP Chief) is saying that he will appeal to me to withdraw. I can tell you that I will appeal to him to support me."
On the NDA meeting today, which turned out to be inconclusive, he said, "There have been little differences which is quite natural in a democracy. They (NDA members) are still to sort out few things. They have to consult few chief minister."