New Delhi, June 28 (ANI): Former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma, who filed his nomination papers for the presidential election here on Thursday, expressed his gratitude to the leaders of various political outfits for their support, and added that he would begin his campaign from Saturday.
"I am only to express my gratefulness to all political parties and leaders for their support. We shall be undertaking our campaign trail from day after tomorrow onwards. And our support base is growing every day," he told media here.
Sangma, who is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) backed contestant, further informed that he has submitted three sets of nomination papers.
"We have submitted three sets of nomination papers. First was by honourable chief minister of Orissa Naveen Patnaik, where 108 members of the electoral college have signed it. Second is proposed by Jayalalithaa, the honourable chief minister of Tamil Nadu, where about 120 MLAs and MPs have signed," said Sangma.
"The third paper was proposed by very very tall leader of the country L.K. Advani and Parkash Singh Badal, chief minister of Punjab, and many other chief ministers with a total number of 122 MLAs and MPs signed in the paper," he added.
Sangma earlier in the day took potshots at the ruling Congress Party for not supporting the cause of tribal in the election for the coveted post.
"Many political partiers have very positively responded and are going to respond. The largest party with whom tribals stood all along - the Indian National Congress -didn't come to support the cause of tribals. They will know affect of this action. Tribals in India are united today and we will move in future together," he said.
Top BJP leaders, including Lal Krishna Advani, Sushwa Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari and Arun Jaitley, accompanied Sangma during the nomination process. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik were also present on the occasion, among others.
Sangma, 64, quit the NCP earlier this month on grounds that his self-respect was being compromised.
Sangma was first picked as a contender for president by Naveen Patnaik and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) nominee Pranab Mukherjee filed his nomination papers for the presidential election earlier today.
Mukherjee filed four sets of nomination papers signed by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
The presidential elections will be held on July 19. The vote count will take place on July 22.
Pratibha Devisingh Patil's term as President ends on July 24. (ANI)