Sangma banks on 'hidden votes' for prez post

Sangma banks on 'hidden votes' for prez post

Former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma, an ‘underdog’ in the Presidential race, on Saturday pinned his hopes on “big number of hidden votes” that can sway the tide in favour of a candidate.

“We have the case of Barack Obama...Nobody thought a black man would ever occupy White House. If a black man can become the president of America, why can’t an adivasi become the president of India,” the NCP leader, whose party has refused to back him for the Presidential race, said.

Interacting with the members of the Indian Women’s Press Corp (IWPC) Sangma said he “hopes” that a consensus would evolve on his candidature as “neither UPA nor NDA has numbers.”

“Nobody sees who will vote for whom. It is a secret ballot. How can it be a question of whom one would vote,” the NCP general secretary promptly replied when asked whether his daughter Agatha Sangma would vote for him.

Sangma said his daughter, a minister in the UPA government, had launched a campaign for a tribal candidate as the president, but withdrew as soon as he entered the fray.

“She will go by what UPA decides,” he said, adding that he had sought appointments with political leaders including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, to press for a tribal candidate.

Asked how he expected to get Congress support when he had opposed Gandhi’s candidature as PM over her foreign origin, Sangma said “the opposition was not personal.”

He indicated that he has the support of some of the opposition parities, including BJP.

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