SHILLONG, June 20 (IANS): Former Lok Sabha speaker Purno Sangma Wednesday said he has quit the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) because it refused to endorse his presidential candidature.
"The disinclination of the NCP to endorse my candidature amounts to a denial of the aspirations of the tribals of the country," Sangma told IANS on telephone from New Delhi.
"At the same time, I cannot ignore the feelings of the tribals that Raisina Hill should not continue to be a distant dream for them," he said.
The Garo tribal leader from Meghalaya said he had no option but to quit the NCP, which he founded in 1999 along with Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar after breaking away from the Congress.
"I have resigned accordingly, without any personal intent whatsoever of embarrassing the party and its leadership."
Sangma added: "I have also received promises of support from senior leaders of non-Congress parties, including those in the NDA (National Democratic Alliance).
"I have been a founder member of the party. I believe that I have also worked hard for building up the base of the party in several parts of India.
"Indeed the national status of the party has been significant due to the mass support from among the tribals who constitute 100 million of our population and among whom I have ceaselessly worked.
"It is in gratitude for the support of the tribals that I have accepted the candidature proposed by the Tribal Forum of India," he said.