Party may punish Sangmas

Party may punish Sangmas

Agatha Sangma, Minister of State for Rural Development, could be dropped from the Union Council of Ministers and suspended from her party – NCP - if she does not toe the party line and stop campaigning for the candidature of her father P A Sangma for presidential elections.

“We have asked P A Sangma to opt out of the presidential race and told Agatha several times not to campaign for her father. If they don’t accept party advice, then we will be compelled to take action against them,” a senior NCP leader told Deccan Herald.

Asked what action could the party take against the father-daughter duo, the leader said, “Agatha will be thrown out of the ministry and suspended from the party, while her father can be expelled from the party”.

The leader indicated that if the two do not abide by party direction in next couple of days, the NCP Parliamentary Board meeting on June 21 in the national capital will decide the action to be initiated against them. However, NCP general secretary D P Tripathi on Monday expressed confidence that Sangma would quit the presidential race and support UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee.

“We have full faith in Sangma that he will fulfill the promise of abiding by the party decision and support UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee," Tripathi said.

Former Lok Sabha speaker P A Sangma, has been pressing for his candidature on the grounds of being a tribal.

According to sources, a section in BJP is keen on backing Sangma, who has been propped up by BJD and AIADMK, hoping to expand NDA with an eye on 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Last week, NCP chief Sharad Pawar sent an emissary to Sangma to advice him to withdraw, but he remained defiant.

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