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    » 07/26/2012, 00.00

    INDIA

    BJP dumps its presidential candidate Sangma



    The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), an opposition Hindu ultranationalist party, will not follow Sangma in his legal challenge to the presidential result, which saw the ruling party's candidate, Pranam Mukherjee, win on 19 July.

    Mumbai (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India's main opposition party, has welcomed Pranab Mukherjee as the new head of state, distancing itself from its (defeated) presidential candidate Purno Agitok Sangma after the latter moved to challenge the new president's election in the courts. "We would like to make it clear, if Sangma takes such a step, then it will be his personal choice. As far as the BJP and NDA are concerned [. . .], we have welcomed the election of the President of India," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said on Wednesday.

    Since the start of the election process, it was clear that the BJP-Sangma pact stood on shaky grounds or that at least the two sides had little in common. The BJP is a ultranationalist Hindu party, known for its support of extremist movements that engage in religiously and ethnically based violence (for example, anti-Christian pogroms in Orissa). By contrast, Sangma is a Catholic, from a tribal background, who left the Congress party in 1998 because he was opposed to the election of Italian-born Sonia Gandhi to the presidency of the party.

    When looking for a candidate, the BJP saw Sangma as a way to attract voters from traditionally unfavourable constituencies, namely Tribals and minorities. For the defeated candidate, the alliance with the BJP meant another go at a place in the sun.

    Despite its latest loss, the BJP has time to recover and prepare for the 2014 parliamentary elections. For Sangma, the situation is a bit more difficult since he is a politician without a party.

    After leaving Congress in 1998, he founded the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which he quit after it refused to back his candidacy.

    The NCP itself under co-founder Sharad Pawar has renewed with Ms Gandhi and is trying to return to the Congress.

    Now, which party will want Sangma, especially since he whitewashed the BJP of any responsibility for the anti-Christian pogroms in Kandhamal, Orissa?

     

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    See also

    19/07/2012 INDIA
    Vote begins to elect next president of India
    Polls put Pranab Mukherjee, former Minister of Finance, as the favorite. Against him, PA Sangma, a controversial Christian politician who has won the support of the opposition ultranationalist Hindu denying the pogroms in Orissa. The results will be released on July 22 next.

    26/06/2012 INDIA
    Raghuvanshi: BJP manipulates Christian candidate for president
    PA Sangma, tribal Catholic of Congress Party, states there is"no evidence" to say that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, Hindu radical party) is responsible for the anti-Christian pogrom in Kandhamal. According to Lenin Raghuvanshi, human rights activist, the BJP is exploiting the politician to get the tribal votes.

    27/06/2012 INDIA
    The "curious" ascent of Sangma, a tribal Catholic backed by the Hindus
    The political history of Purno Agitok Sangma makes his candidacy for President of India a novelty. A member of Congress (in government), he then left to form a nationalist party. Now, has the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the ultra-nationalist Hindu party.

    10/04/2014 INDIA
    Archbishop of Orissa: Today's vote "worries Christians. But we believe in democracy"
    In 2008, the area was hit by violent anti-Christian pogroms carried out by radical Hindus. Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack -Bhubaneshwar, tells AsiaNews: "We hope that the new government will give justice to the victims of the carnage". Today sees the third phase of the general elections, one of the most important.

    04/11/2004 INDIA - USA
    Religious freedom and defence of minorities should be the priorities of a re-elected Bush, John Daya




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