Sangma congratulates Mukherjee, keeps election petition option open

Congratulating Pranab Mukherjee for winning the presidential poll, opposition candidate Purno Sangma said the nation had lost an opportunity to elevate a tribal candidate to the post of the president.

He also said that the option of approaching the Supreme Court against the election was open and they would decide on it Tuesday.

"I might have lost the election, but the nation as a whole has also lost a golden opportunity to demonstrate its solidarity with the tribals by elevating one of them to the highest office of the country," Sangma said at a press conference after the result was announced.

"I do feel I have won hearts and minds of substantial sections of masses of the country represented by those who voted for me.

He also said that there should be a code of conduct for the presidential poll.

"There is a compelling need for establishing a code of conduct for the presidential election," he said, adding that the process of election this year was "exceptionally political".

"Public perception is that in identification and projection of its candidate, the Congress has not genuinely built consensus. It persuaded desperate political parties commanding major sections of the major electoral college by economic and other packages as well as inducements, threats and promises," Sangma alleged.

He also said that low votes to him from the northeastern states showed that the region was not taking its own decisions.

"This is the aspect that worried me most that the people of northeast are no more capable of standing on their own feet. They are 100 percent dependent on central assistance and they are not able to go against the central government. Tribals have to wake up and think over it," he said.

Mukherjee, the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate, has won the president's poll with a massive margin, bagging 713,763 votes, about 70 percent, leaving Sangma way behind with 315,887 votes.

Sangma was backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Akali Dal, AIADMK, the Biju Janata Dal and some other parties.

"We are meeting day after tomorrow (Tuesday), this matter will also come up for discussion," Sangma said to queries about the pallned petition to the apex court after the poll panel had rejected their plea against acceptance of Mukherjee's nomination.

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