The NCP in Meghalaya on Friday merged with National People’s Party (NPP), a newly-formed outfit formed by PA Sangma.
Sangma, who had resigned from NCP as its general secretary and unsuccessfully contested the Presidential poll against Pranab Mukherjee last month, would be NPP’s president.
Altogether 13 out of 14 NCP legislators, including two of Sangma’s sons Conrad (leader of opposition) and James Sangma, backed their father.
However, Sangma's daughter and Union minister Agatha Sangma and lone Rajya Sabha member from Meghalaya Thomas Sangma are still with NCP.
"Once I was considered one of the most powerful men in Congress... Yet I quit that party not for any bigger post but for my principle," Sangma said while addressing the formal launch of the new party in the state.
"I am joining NPP on my principles," he said.
The former Lok Sabha Speaker was expelled from Congress, together with Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar in 1999, for opposing Sonia Gandhi’s Prime Ministerial aspirations citing her foreign origin.
"I said back then only an Indian by birth should be the Prime Minister of the country and I stick to my principle," he said.
Sangma, Pawar and Anwar later formed the NCP in 1999 but differences surfaced in the new outfit and Sangma for a brief period merged the Meghalaya NCP with Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamol Congress in 2005 before returning to Pawar-led NCP.
Sangma said he was faced with this dilemma of taking forward the aspirations of millions of tribals who wanted to see a tribal president.
But his party threatened him of disciplinary action if he contested and so he quit the party "by listening to my conscience."