New Delhi, Jan 5: P A Sangma, who broke away with the NCP last year to contest the Presidential elections, today launched National People's Party (NPP) and joined hands with the BJP-led NDA.
Launching the NPP at the "national level", Sangma said it has been active for long as a recognised party from Manipur.
The former Lok Sabha Speaker, who is the President of the party, said his daughter Agatha, MP from Tura, Meghalaya, will be "in NCP for the time being on technical grounds," but sounded confident that "she will fight next elections as an NPP candidate."
Agatha had to resign as Union Minister on her party NCP's directions after she campaigned for her father PA Sangma in the July Presidential elections in defiance of the party.
"Book will be the national symbol of the party because we believe that only literacy and education can empower the weaker sections," said Sangma.
He said that the party would contest the Meghalaya assembly elections due soon and is ready with the names of 33 candidates.
Sangma who unsuccessfully contested the Presidential elections last year as a candidate of the Tribal Forum of India said that his party will give due importance to tribal and women issues.
"Though the party is meant for all and its membership is open for everyone, it is going to be tribal centric," said Sangma.
He announced that former Union Minister Arvind Netam will be the Working President of the party.
Sangma said the party will focus at the beginning in tribal areas of several states including Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, North Bengal and the northeast.
On the issue of women's safety, the NPP said it favours death penalty or life imprisonment with chemical castration for rapists and demanded that such cases be tried in fast track courts.
On the corruption issue, NPP supported a strong Lokpal bill and "total independence" of CBI and CVC.
BJP today hailed P A Sangma's decision to make his newly- formed National People's Party (NPP) a part of the NDA alliance.
"Sangma had met NDA Working Chairperson L K Advani yesterday and expressed his desire to join the alliance. Today his party took this decision and conveyed the formal decision to join the NDA," BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Sangma called Advani on the phone today to inform him about the NPP's decision.
"NPP becoming a part of the NDA will strengthen the coalition, particularly in the Northeast. BJP hails this decision. On behalf of my party, I wholeheartedly welcome his decision," Prasad said.