Support for Sangma rising in Meghalaya

SHILLONG: With the largest Opposition party in the country, BJP, extending its support to presidential aspirant Purno A'gitok Sangma, there is much enthusiasm in his home state with people expecting a "respectable fight" for Sangma in the race to Raisina Hill.

"We are extremely happy that one of the most renowned political faces from the northeast is contending for the highest office in the country," said Sujoy Datta, a businessman.

"He is one of the most articulate and educated politicians in the country, who has risen from a humble background. If he becomes the President, the people of the northeast will be elated," said Jolly Marak, a college student.

Meanwhile, sources in the state unit of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), from which Sangma resigned yesterday, have hinted that legislators of the party, all of whom are loyal to the former Lok Sabha speaker, would vote for him in the presidential polls.

Sangma's youngest son and leader of opposition in the state legislative assembly, Conrad Kongkal Sangma, is of the view that his father's resignation would have no impact on the party in Meghalaya.

Sangma, who represented the prestigious Tura Assembly Constituency, put his papers down after the NCP urged him to pull out of the race and to support Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, the UPA candidate put up by the Congress. The politician has also resigned from the state assembly. "He had to quit the NCP because the UPA (including the NCP) are not supporting his cause as a tribal candidate who represents the minority and the Christians," Conradsaid.