Sangma's apology to Sonia triggers speculations

Sangma on Friday said he had recently called on Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence here and apologised for raking up the issue of her foreign origin and challenging her candidature for the prime minister’s post. The speculations ranged from Sangma’s possible return to the Congress to the NCP’s merger with the parent party. The Congress kept the speculations alive, as there was no word from the NCP.

“These are policy-related issues. First, they (NCP) have to decide about it and after that our party has to take a view on it,” said Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi.
Sangma, Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar quit the Congress in 1999 after staging a revolt against Gandhi. They had floated the NCP.

“I told her I am sorry for what had happened 10 years ago. I wanted to apologise for what had happened,” said Sangma, who had last year launched his two sons — Conrad and James — and daughter Agatha in politics.

Conrad and James are now MLAs in the Meghalaya State Assembly. Agatha had last year contested a byelection from Tura on the NCP ticket and entered the 14th LS as its youngest member. She was re-elected in the just-concluded polls. And, as the Minister of State for Rural Development, she is now the youngest member of the Prime Minister’s team.

Sources said the Congress wanted to use Sangma as a buffer against Pawar ahead of the Assembly polls in Maharashtra — the only stronghold of the NCP.

Sangma on Friday said Gandhi had been very gracious when he had apologised for his critical remarks in the past. He quoted her saying: “Past is past. Forget it.”

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