The Congress on Tuesday took strong exception to the announcement of A P J Abdul Kalam as the National Democratic Alliance candidate for the presidential election, saying the government should have tried to evolve a consensus before deciding on the issue.
"Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's meeting on Monday with opposition leader and Congress president Sonia Gandhi was to communicate to her about Kalam's candidature for the post of President and not to take her in confidence," Congress national secretary Anil Shastri said.
Terming Vajpayee's decision as 'premeditated', he alleged the NDA government was never serious for evolving a consensus.
Now that the NDA government has announced its candidate for the post of President, it was for opposition to decide whether to accept Kalam's candidature or chart its own course of action, he said.
Urging the prime minister to reconsider the decision and start afresh the process to evolve a consensus on the issue, he said all political parties should work together to keep the post of President beyond the purview of bipartisan politics.
A consensus candidate for the post of President was necessary as the country was passing through a difficult period, he said.
Regarding Kalam's candidature, he said the Congress has nothing against him personally considering his scientific achievements, but sincere efforts should have been made to work out a consensus before going public with any name.
Coverage of the election for the 11th President of India
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