Agatha may be NCP's next target

Swamy challenges Pawar to take action against her

After P A Sangma resigned from NCP on Wednesday unwilling to opt out of the Presidential election, his daughter Agatha Sangma, Minister of State for Rural Development, could be shown the door from the Union Council of Ministers if she campaigns for her father.

“We have told her time and again not to campaign for her father’s candidature. If she campaigns even after Sangma’s resignation, we will have no option but to show her the door,” a senior NCP leader told Deccan Herald.

Earlier in the day, while making public Sangma’s decision to quit NCP, Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy had challenged NCP supremo Sharad Pawar to take action against Agatha Sangma.

“Agatha is a minister because of her own capabilities. We challenge Pawar to take action against her,” Swamy said after his meeting with Sangma, who appears all set to be opposition’s candidate in the presidential poll.

The NCP chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who accepted the resignation of Sangma with immediate effect, refused to answer questions on Agatha Sangma.

Another senior NCP leader D P Tripathi also refused comment on the status of Agatha Sangma and said; "Neither has she said anything about the presidential poll, nor has she resigned...I do not like to comment on her."

Sources in NCP, which has nine Lok Sabha MPs, said that the “party doesn’t want to lose one berth in the  Union Council of Ministers by dropping Agatha; however, if she continues to campaign for her father, the situation will be embarrassing for the party and a decision against her will be imminent”.

NCP embarrassment

Former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma, propped up by BJD and AIADMK as Presidential candidate, has ignored repeated requests from NCP leadership to opt out of the race, causing much embarrassment to Sharad Pawar. 

The embarrassment for the Sharad Pawar party was compounded when Agatha joined her father in campaigning for his candidature as the next President.

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