NCP leader PA Sangma today met Naveen Patnaik and thanked the Odisha chief minister for supporting his candidature for the next President's post. The chief minister also called Sangma the most suitable candidate for the job.
Speaking after the meeting, Sangma appealed to all political parties to support a tribal candidate for the president's job. Sangma said he hoped they will respond "to the call of conscience of the tribal people of the nation."
Sangma, who met BJD chief and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here along with some tribal MPs, claimed he has the support of the tribal leaders across the parties who are "fighting a common cause of projecting a tribal as a presidential candidate."
"We hope that other political groups including UPA and NDA will respond to the call of conscience of the nation by the tribal people and support us in the coming presidential election," he told reporters here flanked by Patnaik.
Asked if he is in touch with other political parties to garner support for Sangma, Patnaik said it was their duty to bring all political parties onboard on the issue of supporting the former Speaker.
"I think it is obvious my colleague Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and I... of course we will be speaking to our colleagues who are many. It is our duty to gather together the political parties of the country (for supporting Sangma)...There has been a very encouraging response. I am sure my colleague in Tamil Nadu will echo my views," he said.
Both Patnaik and Jayalalithaa had announced their backing for Sangma on May 17, injecting a new element in the presidential race.