New Delhi: Former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma, who is determined to contest the Presidential Election, on Wednesday resigned from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) after the party leadership built pressure on him to withdraw from the presidential race.
"I hereby tender my resignation from the primary membership of NCP with immediate effect. I place on record my deep gratitude to the president, other office bearers and rank and file of NCP for the courtesies extended to me by them at personal level while I was a member of the party," he wrote in his resignation letter.
In a statement, Sangma said he had "no option but to resign" from NCP "without any personal intent whatsoever of embarrassing the party and its leadership".
Talking about the circumstances in which he had to quit, the 64-year-old leader said, "disinclination of the NCP to endorse my candidature amounts to a denial of the aspirations of the Tribals of the country."
Noting that his candidature had been projected by the Tribal Forum of India and he cannot "ignore the feeling of the Tribals that Raisina Hill (Rashtrapati Bhavan) should not continue to be a distant dream for them."
Sangma, a founder member of NCP, sent his resignation to party supremo Sharad Pawar. Meanwhile, Pawar has accepted Sangma’s resignation.
The tribal leader reportedly decided to quit NCP after receiving supports from BJP and a few other NDA constituents.
The tribal leader, who is adamant on contesting the Presidential polls against UPA candidate and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, has been reportedly suggested by the party high command to either withdraw from the presidential race or get ready to face action.
Sangma has been in the NCP firing line ever since he announced his decision to contest the Presidential poll. The tribal leader’s candidature has been backed by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jaylalithaa and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik for the July 19 Presidential Election.
Meanwhile, Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, a constituent of NDA, met Sangma apparently to pledge support.
Reacting to Sangma’s resignation, Swamy said, “NCP and Congress has been humiliating Sangma ever since he announced his candidature.” “He had to resign to protect his self-respect”, he added.