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Patel defends party not backing PA Sangma in presidential race

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  17 Jan 2018 12:00 AM GMT

From a correspondent

SHILLONG, Jan 16: tiolist Congress Party (NCP) general secretary Praful Patel has said that late Purno Agitok Sangma did not receive the recognition he deserved when he was part of the BJP-led tiol Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre. Patel defended NCP’s stand not to back PA Sangma as the presidential candidate.

“The NDA should have given Purno Sangma a slot in the alliance taking into account that he was from the Northeast,” Patel told media persons here on Tuesday.

According to the NCP leader, Sangma was made to feel disappointed by the BJP-led NDA Government as he was one of the senior-most leaders from the region.

“He represented tribals and minorities, but was never given due respect (by the NDA),” Patel said.

According to the NCP general secretary, Late Sangma’s daughter Agatha K Sangma was inducted as a minister during the UPA regime.

“As far as we’re concerned we have tried to give our best and due respect to elected representatives from Meghalaya,” Patel said.

Late Sangma, who was also the former Speaker of the Lok Sabha, had won the Tura seat in 2014 when he contested on a tiol People’s Party (NPP) ticket. He died in March 2016.

On being asked as to why the NCP did not support Late Sangma’s decision when he made up his mind to contest for the post of President of India in 2012, Patel said that the NCP was a part of the UPA and the party had to abide by the decision of its alliance partners. “He was contesting without the approval of the NCP. Individually taking a decision is not acceptable. We’re a political party and can take decision with the consent of the party’s working committee. There was no reason for Purno to contest that election at that point of time against the wishes of the NCP working committee. He contested as an independent candidate,” the NCP general secretary added.

“Since we were part of the UPA, how can we support a candidate which is against the alliance?” Patel questioned..

Late Sangma’s candidature was backed by the BJP.

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