Tribal Forum of India, which projected former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A. Sangma as its presidential candidate, is scheduled to meet next month to declare formation of a “tribal-centric” political party in India.
“A core committee of the tribal forum of India would be meeting at New Delhi and a delegation of the forum will meet the chief election commissioner to discuss the possibility of launching of a new political party,” Sangma told journalists.
Sangma announced that he would never contest any future state election from Meghalaya, Sangma
said he was not interested to be elected to the Rajya Sabha, as he desired to be voted 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 with tribal leaders from Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Assam to take stock on the post presidential elections.
Sangma, a tribal Garo leader from western Meghalaya who was backed by the BJP, AIADMK, Biju
Janata Dal and Akali Dal, Sunday lost to United Progressive Alliance’s Pranab Mukherjee.
Mukherjee bagged 713,763 votes, about 70 percent, leaving Sangma way behind with 315,887 votes.
Though, Sangma refused to divulge the name of the new political party, but said “the new political party will tribal centric but it’s open for all.”
However, sources closes to Sangma said the new party would be known as National Indigenous Peoples’ Party of India (NIPPI).
“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 e beginning of the united movement of the tribal for their rights,” the tallest tribal Garo leader from Meghalaya, said.
Moreover, he said tribal leaders from across the will be meeting at Raipur in Chhattisgarh August 9 to take stock of the outcome of the presidential election and to chalk out a future plans for the tribals.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which he founded along with Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar in 1999 after breaking away from the Congress, refused to endorse his presidential candidature, forcing him to quit the party June 20. He also gave up his membership in the 60-member Meghalaya assembly.
According to sources close to Sangma, the new party will draw most of its members from the NCP who had backed him during the presidential election.
Thirteen NCP legislators in Meghalaya voted for Sangma in the presidential election, going against the party decision to support Pranab Mukherjee who is now the country’s president.
“The NIPI will bank on millions of indigenous people across the region ahead of assembly elections in three northeastern states,” said the aide. Tribal states like Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura are scheduled to go for assembly polls in February next year.