CHENNAI: A day after proposing former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma for the highest post of the country, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday appealed to all parties to rise above political considerations and support the tribal leader and ensure that he becomes the next President of India.
The AIADMK supremo had on Thursday said that while eminent personalities belonging to various communities and diverse walks of life had graced the office of the Rashtrapati, no one belonging to a tribal community had had the opportunity so far.
Already, Jayalalithaa’s move has set the pace for the Presidential elections and her proposal has forced major political parties — the Congress and BJP — to take a quick stand on the issue. After her appeal now, the parties have to accelerate their decision-making process to make their stand clear at the earliest — whether to support Sangma or field their candidate and spell out the reasons for rejecting him. So far, the Congress and BJP have remained silent on Sangma’s candidature.
The AIADMK has 150 MLAs in the State Assembly, including four from smaller parties who have won their seats under the AIADMK symbol, and 14 MPs in both Houses of Parliament. So, it has significant value in the electoral arithmetic when it comes to the Presidential elections. In association with Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal strength in his Assembly, both could be a deciding factor in the Presidential polls.