Former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma, who is considered an underdog in the Presidential race, on Saturday pinned his hopes on the "big number of hidden votes".
"We have (the case of) Barack Obama. Nobody thought a black man would ever occupy the White House. If a black man can become the President of America, why can't an Adivasi become the President of India," said the Nationalist Congress Party leader, whose party has refused to back him for the Presidential race.
Interacting with the members of the Indian Women's Press Corp, Sangma said he "hopes" that a consensus would evolve on his candidature as "neither the UPA nor the NDA has numbers. Besides there are a big number of hidden votes, you never know."
"Nobody sees who will vote for whom. It is a secret ballot. How can it be a question of whom one would vote for," the NCP general secretary promptly replied when asked whether his daughter Agatha Sangma will vote for him.
He said his daughter, who is a minister in the United Progressive Alliance government, had started the campaign for a tribal candidate for the President's post but stopped it as soon as he entered the fray with the support of two senior leaders -- chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and Orissa -- Jayalalithaa and Naveen Patnaik.
"My daughter is part of the UPA, I am not. When I went to Chennai, P A Sangma was not a candidate...that time we were campaigning for a tribal candiate. She stopped the moment Jayalalithaa and Patnaik announced support to me. She will go by what the UPA decides," said Sangma.
He reiterated that he had sought appointments with political leaders including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, to press for a tribal candidate for the post of the President.