Terming it a "victory of tribal unity", National Democratic Alliance (NDA) presidential candidate PA Sangma on Thursday filed his nomination papers for the July 19 presidential election.
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, BJP president Nitin Gadkari and party leaders LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley were amongst those who were present at the Rajya Sabha secretariat for the filing of the nomination.
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate Pranab Mukherjee had filed his papers earlier Thursday.
"Today is a victory of tribal unity, that a tribal is filing his nomination for the post of president," Sangma told reporters ahead of submitting his papers to Rajya Sabha secretary general VK Agnihotri, the returning officer for the election.
"I will file my nomination today as a candidate sponsored by the Tribal Forum of India, nominated by the chief ministers of Odisha and Tamil Nadu and backed by BJP and other NDA allies."
Sangma also lamented that the Congress did not welcome the candidature of a tribal for the post of president despite the community having stood by the party.
"We wanted to express that tribals in India have all along stood by the Congress. We had expected Congress would welcome our request. However, the Congress did not come out in support of tribals," he said.
"We sought an appointment to meet Congress chairperson (Sonia Gandhi). We were asked to wait in the Central Hall (of parliament) consecutively for three days. We could not get an appointment. We then met other leaders," Sangma added.