New Delhi: Expressing gratitude to the BJP for supporting his Presidential bid, PA Sangma today appealed to NDA allies JD(U) and Shiv Sena, which are opposed to his candidature, as well as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to back him in the July 19 poll.

Soon after BJP announced its support for him, the 64-year-old former Lok Sabha Speaker said his candidature was sponsored by two powerful chief ministers Jayalalithaa (Tamil Nadu) and Naveen Patnaik (Odisha).

He said he had resigned from the NCP as well as a member of the Meghalaya Assembly and asserted that that he was very much in the race.

“I am not a candidate of any single party. My name has been sponsored by two powerful chief ministers of the country. I am grateful to both these leaders. I am very happy that the BJP has also taken a stand to support my candidature.

“Not only the BJP but other allies like the Akali Dal, the JMM and other smaller parties have assured their support. They have told me that they will stand by the decision of the NDA,” he told reporters here.

With JD(U) and Shiv Sena having taken a different stand from that of NDA, he appealed to both the parties to extend support to him.

Asked whether Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress would support him, Sangma expressed hope that the party would stand behind him as its first choice APJ Abdul Kalam has decided not to contest.

“I had spoken to her earlier. She had asked me to support Kalam then. But she told me that if Kalam does not contest, then she will support me. Now that Kalam is not in the race, I hope that Mamata will support me. I am very very hopeful that Mamata will be with me,” he said.

On whether his daughter Agatha Sangma, a Minister of State in the UPA government, will vote for him, he said she is a mature person who can take decisions on her own.