Former Lok Sabha speaker Purno A. Sangma Sunday is the second tribal leader from Meghalaya who failed to win the presidential election after the late George Gilbert Swell.
Backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and National Front in the 1992 presidential election, Swell lost to Congress’ Shankar Dayal Sharma, securing only 346,485 votes against his opponent’s 675,864 votes.
Swell, a tribal Khasi from eastern Meghalaya, had been deputy speaker of Lok Sabha from Dec 9, 1969 to Dec 27, 1970 and again from March 27, 1971 to Jan 18, 1977.
Sangma, a tribal Garo leader from western Meghalaya who was backed by the BJP, AIADMK, Biju Janata Dal and Akali Dal, Sunday lost to United Progressive Alliance’s Pranab Mukherjee.
Mukherjee bagged 713,763 votes, about 70 percent, leaving Sangma way behind with 315,887 votes.