"Tribal leaders belonging to all political parties are meeting on May 9 here and our demand will be to make a tribal the next President," Sangma said. However, the former Lok Sabha Speaker and Meghalaya MP made it clear that he was not a candidate for the President's post.
"I am not the candidate. We are trying to meet the leaders of different political parties to agree in principle (tribal candidate for the presidency)... After agreeing in principle, we will decide the candidate," he said. Asked whether making a tribal the next President is NCP's view or his own, he said, "This is the view of tribals of the country. This is not view of any political party. We have written letters to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, BJP President Nitin Gadkari, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and NCP leader Sharad Pawar seeking appointments to discuss the issue."
The Meghalaya MP said, "Even after 60 years of India becoming a republic, people from SC and Muslim minority have become President. The tribal population is more than 100 million in the country. But till today no tribal has become the President yet."
Asked whether he has taken NCP chief Sharad Pawar into confidence, he said, "We have just started discussions among ourselves. We are organising a meeting on May 9 and before that we will meet leaders of all political parties including Pawar." About the NCP's stand on the issue, he said, "The issue has not been discussed in the party yet."