New Delhi: There's a new name in the growing list of Presidential hopefuls. For the first time on Thursday, two political parties came out with a joint name for President. Former Speaker PA Sangma, who had been lobbying for a Scheduled Tribe as the next President, has got support from AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
However, Sangma so far has failed to get his own party, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), on board.
"Mr P A Sangma ought to be the candidate for the highest post in the country, that is the Rashtrapati of India," said Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief Naveen Patnaik.
With a sizeable percentage in the electoral college, the AIADMK chief is bound to play an important role in crowning the next President. Jayalalithaa, who had so far kept her cards close to her chest, on Thursday, chose to back Sangma who had met her in Chennai on Tuesday.
"AIADMK has decided to support the candidature of P A Sangma for President of India. The decision has been taken after consultation within the AIADMK as well as consultation with the Odisha CM," said the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
Sangma, in his response, thanked the two leaders.
However, the biggest hurdle for Sangma in his dream run is his own party.
NCP leader Praful patel said, "We are a small party, we cannot have our candidate."
Its first move having backfired, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), meanwhile, is doing a tight rope walk.
"That's their view. NDA will decide not us. The BJP doesn't believe in any religion or caste for this post," said BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain.
While the Congress has not committed itself to any name for the Presidential poll, Sangma has managed to garner some support. Now whether the support stays once Congress puts up its nominee is something that will decide who wins this battle for India's next president.