NEW DELHI: The race to Rashtrapati Bhawan just got a little more complex with Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal and J Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK backing former Lok Sabha speaker P A Sangma for the post of the next President.
"We will support Shri Sangma. He is the most appropriate candidate for the post," Patnaik said.
In a statement issued, Jayalalithaa said: "The AIADMK takes pride in supporting the candidature of Shri P.A. Sangma for the Office of President of India."
Referring to the letter she had received from Sangma and his meeting with her Tuesday, Jayalalithaa said AIADMK has decided to support his candidature after due internal consultation and as well as discussions with Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal chief Naveen Patnaik.
"Shri P.A. Sangma not only belongs to a tribal community but is also eminently qualified to be the President of our great Nation," she said.
Co-founder of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Sangma had earlier demanded that the next President should come from the Scheduled Tribe community.
Sangma said that there have been presidents from all communities except the Scheduled Tribes and had requested all party leaders to take into consideration this fact.
The Congress has yet to reveal the name of their candidate for the President's post, although the names of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari are doing the rounds.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party has made it clear that the party will not support a Congress-backed candidate.
The presidential poll will be held sometime in July; the date has not been announced yet.
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