NEW DELHI, June 22 � As the heat over the President�s poll gathers momentum, AICC on Friday rejected PA Sangma�s challenge for a debate with Pranab Mukherjee.
On Friday, former Lok Sabha Speaker sought a debate with the ruling UPA�s nominee ahead of the July 19 presidential poll. Without naming the Union Finance Minister, Sangma virtually dared him to a debate. �It has to be a candidate to candidate debate. Democracy means debate,� said Sangma.
Briefing newsmen, AICC spokesman, Manish Tiwari said that the Congress rejects the demand for a debate with Pranab.
On division between the UPA and the Left Front, Sangma said there is a split in almost all political parties. That shows this election is taken seriously. It�s not as smooth as the Congress is claiming it to be. �People are giving serious thought to it. This is a welcome development.�
Sangma said he would reach out to all Congress Chief Ministers, Parliament members and legislators from the North Eastern Region. �It is a question of North East�s pride and not a question of party affiliations,� Sangma said.
On garnering support from tribal MPs and MLAs across the country, he said he has been sponsored by Tribal Council, which has representation from all parties and has around five percent votes in the Electoral College.
He said his victory in the presidential poll will be a �big message� to �more than 100 million tribals� in the country and suggested that it could help redress Maoist and insurgency issues.
The former Lok Sabha Speaker pinned his hopes on a �conscience vote.�