Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Wednesday said that his National People’s Party (NPP) would support the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu.
“It was a long-cherished dream of my father P A Sangma to have a tribal President for our country. My best wishes to her,” Conrad said.
The former Lok Sabha Speaker was the first tribal leader in the Country when he unsuccessfully contested the presidential elections for the 2012 presidential polls with the support of the then opposition BJP-led NDA and some regional parties against his “senior friend” of many years Pranab Mukherjee.
“Thanking @PMOIndia, @narendramodi Ji for nominating an indigenous tribal woman candidate, Smti. Draupadi Murmu Ji as the Presidential candidate,” the CM tweeted.
Murmu, a former Jharkhand governor, will be the first tribal woman to occupy the top constitutional post if she is elected as the 15th president.
The opposition had earlier announced Yashwant Sinha, a former Union Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, as the joint opposition candidate for presidential polls. The presidential election is slated for July 18.
The NPP is an ally of the BJP in the Centre and is supporting the BJP government in Arunachal Pradesh, while this “tribal-centric” party is the principal opposition in the 60-member Manipur Assembly.
However, the BJP which has two legislators in the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly is supporting the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government.