Shillong, July 2 (IANS) The United Democratic Party, a part of Meghalaya's Congress-led coalition government, Monday decided to support former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma in the July 19 presidential election.
"The parliamentary party has unanimously decided to support Sangma as he is a local and tribal from the state (Meghalaya) and also an independent candidate in the presidential elections," UDP chief and former chief minister Donkupar Roy told journalists.
The decision was taken in the parliamentary party meeting Monday, he said.
The UDP has ten legislators in the 60-member Meghalaya assembly.
Asked why the UDP decided to support Sangma and not United Progressive Alliance candidate Pranab Mukherjee especially when the UDP is backing the Congress government, UDP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Bindo Mathew Lanong said: "This election has no bearing with the state government.
"Therefore, the party has unanimously decided to extend support to Sangma being a local independent candidate as he is no more with any party after he resign from the NCP (Nationalist Congress Party)."
Earlier, the Asom Gana Parishad and Mizo National Front have already pledged their support to Sangma, who is backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Biju Janata Dal, AIADMK and some other parties.