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Sangma bats for Pawar as PM, slams Congress

May 15, 2009 17:32 IST

Nationalist Congress Party leader and former Lok Sabha speaker Purno A Sangma have called upon all like-minded political parties to back NCP president Sharad Pawar as the next prime minister.

Sangma said, "We, the NCP units in the North East, would like to urge Sharad Pawar not to have anything with untrustworthy Congress in the formation of t6he next government in the country."

"The NCP units in the North East, supported by the party's Jammu and Kashmir unit, are of the unanimous view that the NCP should have nothing to do with the Congress in the formation of the next government in India. We should make all efforts to form a non-Congress, non-BJP government headed by Pawar," Sangma said.

The North East Coordination Committee of the NCP called upon all like-minded political parties to come together to form a formidable group to project Sharad Pawar as the PM.

"Leaders like (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief) Jayalalitha, (Biju Janata Dal) Navin Patnaik, (Shiv Sena leader) Manohar Joshi, and (Samajwadi Party leader) Amar Singh have extended their support to Sharad Pawar as the candidate for prime minister. The Congress should gracefully support Pawar as the next PM. That will be good for the Congress," Sangma said.

He further said the North East state units of the NCP were unhappy with the attitude of the Congress in dealing with the NCP in the region, though the party was part of the United Progressive Alliance

The NCP will meet at the residence of Sharad Pawar in New Delhi at 6 pm on May 17 to decider on the future course of action, depending on the results of the election.

When asked whether the NCP might consider supporting the National Democratic Alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, Sangma said the party hadn't decided to support anyone so far. He added, "Personally speaking, no political party including the BJP is untouchable to me."

K Anurag in Guwahati