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No question of supporting Sonia as PM: Sangma
April 15, 2008 15:34 IST
Nationalist Congress Party general secretary P A Sangma on Tuesday downplayed his party man Praful Patel's remark on supporting the Gandhis for the prime ministerial candidate, saying that there was no question of supporting Congress chief Sonia for the post.
"We are not opposed to Rahul as the prime minister as he is an Indian. However, there was no question of supporting Sonia Gandhi [Images] for the top post," he said.
His statement comes two days after NCP leader Praful Patel said that the NCP was not opposed to either Sonia or Rahul as the prime minister.
"The whole world knows we are opposed to Sonia Gandhi as PM," he said.
The former Lok Sabha speaker's remarks have thrown up speculations as to whether there was any division of opinion within the NCP, an ally of the ruling United Progressive Alliance, as to the prime ministerial candidate in the next general elections.
Sangma, along with the other leaders of the NCP, had broken from the Congress and floated their own party before the 1999 elections on the issue of Sonia's foreign origin.
With the combined UPA, including the NCP, readying to put up a united fight against the NDA in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the issue has again raised its head, casting a shadow on the veneer of unity of the Congress-led alliance.
When asked as to why the NCP was averse to the idea of a tie-up with Congress in Meghalaya as in the Centre, Sangma said, state politics is different from that of the centre.
"How can I forget that the Congress poached on six of our MLAs in the 2003 assembly elections? We cannot ally with such a party," he said.