Shillong: After his unsuccessful bid for Raisina Hill, former Lok Sabha speaker Purno A. Sangma is set to float a new political party next month, an aide said on Monday.

"A new political party, the National Indigenous Peoples' Party of India (NIPPI), will come into existence sometime in August," a confidant said on the condition of anonymity.

Sangma finds himself at the crossroads after having contested and lost the presidential election. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which he founded along with Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar in 1999 after breaking away from the Congress, refused to endorse his presidential candidature, forcing him to quit the party June 20. He also gave up his membership in the 60-member Meghalaya assembly.

According to sources close to Sangma, the new party will draw most of its members from the NCP who had backed him during the presidential election. Thirteen NCP legislators in Meghalaya voted for Sangma in the presidential election, going against the party decision to support Pranab Mukherjee who is now the country's President. "The NIPPI will bank on millions of indigenous people across the region ahead of assembly elections in three northeastern states," said the aide.

Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura are scheduled to go for assembly polls in February next year. Sangma could not be reached for comment but his son and NCP legislator Conrad K. Sangma said the state NCP unit had not discussed the formation of the new party.

"We are still in a consultative mood to chart out our future course of action. We have not reached that state to discuss the formation of a new party," Conrad, leader of opposition in the Meghalaya house said.

(Agencies)

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