SHILLONG, July 31 � India�s political scene is taking a new twist with former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno Agitok Sangma announcing that a �tribal-centric� political party would be launched soon in the country.
Sangma said that the �Tribal Forum of India�, which projected him as its presidential candidate, would meet next month for the formal launch of the said political party. �The core committee of the Tribal Forum of India would meet next month in New Delhi and discuss formation of the tribal-centric party. A delegation of the forum will meet the Chief Election Commissioner in this regard,� Sangma added.
Sangma, who broke away from the Congress in 1999 along with Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar and formed the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), is yet again slated to from a new political party with today�s announcement.
The Presidential aspirant, however, refused to give any more details of the new party. �The new political party will be tribal-centric but it�s open for all,� is what Sangma is willing to divulge as of now. But sources said that the new political party is most likely to be known as the National Indigenous Peoples� Party of India. �The party will bank on millions of indigenous people�s support across the region ahead of Assembly elections in three northeastern States,� said one of the sources. He added that tribal leaders from across the country will be meeting at Raipur, Chhattisgarh on August 9 to take stock of the outcome of the presidential election and chalk out future plans for the tribals� welfare.
The former Lok Sabha Speaker pledged not to contest any elections from Meghalaya and added that he does not aspire to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha as he only wishes to be elected by the people.
�I may not even contest the Lok Sabha elections from Meghalaya. There are around 50 reserved seats in the country. I can contest from anywhere in India,� he said after meeting tribal leaders from Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Assam.
Sangma, who unsuccessfully contested the last Presidential elections, was backed by BJP, AIADMK, Biju Janata Dal and Akali Dal. He lost to United Progressive Alliance-backed candidate Pranab Mukherjee.
�The last presidential election had given an opportunity for tribal people to articulate their aspiration and hope. It has brought political awareness to the tribal people and it will be the beginning of the united movement of the tribal for their rights,� Sangma said.