Sangma reverts to original position on foreign origin issue

Opposition-backed Presidential candidate P A Sangma, who had revised his position on Sonia Gandhi becoming Prime Minister, today reverted to his original stand that a person of foreign origin should not become Prime Minister of the country.

"That is my view now. That will be my view in future... till I die. I will never support any foreigner to be Prime Minister or President of India. I am very clear about it," Sangma said today.

Sangma, who had opposed Sonia Gandhi's candidature for Prime Ministership in 1999 along with Sharad Pawar and others and walked out of the Congress to form NCP, later revised his position.

On May 22, 2012, Sangma had said, "That is a forgotten issue. A closed chapter. I had gone and apologised to her (Sonia Gandhi), saying you had a chance to be the Prime Minister, you had the numbers, yet you declined. I am very happy. Let us forget the past. And she said yes, let us forget the past."

The controversy has arisen afresh with former president A P J Abdul Kalam stating in his forthcoming book that had Gandhi wanted to become PM in 2004, he had no other option but to appoint her. Sangma's decision to go back to his original position today has come in the wake of Congress decision not to back him in the presidential election. The former Lok Sabha Speaker had sought Congress support for himself, saying it is time a tribal became the president of India.

Congress decided to field Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as its candidate for the top post. Sangma, backed by AIADMK and BJD, also got the support of BJP and some of its NDA allies. He has appealed to MPs and MLAs to vote as per their conscience.

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