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Prez poll: Withdraw or face music, NCP tells Sangma

Nagpur: Virtually putting on notice the former Lok Sabha Speaker and senior party leader P A Sangma for his insistence on contesting the Presidential poll, the Nationalist Congress Party today said the north-east leader will face action if he chose to break ranks.

"We have supported Pranab Mukherjee who is the best choice for the country for the top Constitutional post. Sangma should respect the party`s decision and should not contest the elections," said senior NCP leader and union minister for Heavy Industries, Praful Patel, while addressing `Maha Rozgar` rally at Bhandara, 60 km from here. "Sangma did not consult the party or senior leaders before announcing his candidature for the post. If he contests the election, it would violate party directive and invite action," Patel said.

Sangma, whose candidature has been endorsed by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jaylalithaa and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik for the July 19 election, has also sought the support of NDA as well as Trinamool Congress, however, both of whom have given him no commitment so far.

NCP president, Sharad Pawar, recently described Pranab Mukherjee as the best presidential candidate, while indicating that efforts were underway to make Sangma pull out of the race. Patel further said that the issue of Sangma contesting the poll will be discussed at the NCP`s parliamentary board meeting on June 21.

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