New Delhi: Another name has now came up in the race for the next President of India. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has said that the BJD and the Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK will support NCP leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma.
Patnaik's announcement follows his recent meeting with AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa in Chennai. The former Lok Sabha speaker had met Jayalalithaa two days ago.
Jayalalithaa said, "Following a letter I received from PA Sangma and his recent meeting with me in Chennai on May 15, after due consideration and consultations within the AIADMK as well as consultations with Naveen Patnaik, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has decided to support the candidature of Shri PA Sangma, former Lok Sabha Speaker, for the highest office of the Republic of India."
Sangma had demanded that the President must hail from the Scheduled Tribes community. He had said that a request in this regard had also been sent to the leaders of the parties.
"I am glad that Naveen Patnaik and Jayalalitha have come out in my support. I am meeting all political parties. We want a tribal President. Pranab Mukherjee is competent but time has come for a President from the Scheduled Tribes community," said Sangma.
It has been 60 years, there has been president from all communities but ours. We have sent request to leaders of all parties seeking for appointment," said the North East NCP strongman.
The Congress, meanwhile, has still not come out clear on the party's choice for the Presidential candidate. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari are the two names that have been doing the rounds as the Congress's preferred Presidential candidates.
However, there hasn't been any clarity. Pranab Mukherjee himself has been mincing words when asked about his candidature for the President's post.
The race for the President is fast heating up with new twists even as Pratibha Patil's as the President ends in July this year.