Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday said that his party did not recommend anybody's name for the post of President even as Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee appealed to all parties to support scientist A P J Abdul Kalam for the top post.
According to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, Naidu made this clear when he attended a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance constituents at the prime minister's residence in New Delhi.
However, Naidu could scarcely conceal his glee at Dr Kalam emerging as the NDA's presidential candidate.
Soon after stepping out of the plane at the airport in New Delhi, he told reporters that "the choice of Bharat Ratna Dr A P J Abdul Kalam is part of
efforts to facilitate a broader consensus on the presidential candidate. In view of the stature of Dr Kalam and his contribution to the country's self-reliance... make him the right choice".
While the NDA appealed to all parties to support Dr Kalam's candidature, the Congress and the Left parties said they would discuss the issue and convey their response.
Even Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his party colleague Amar Singh came to the PM's residence and were told by Vajpayee about the NDA's decision.
Mamata described Dr Kalam's candidature "our victory". "It proves India is a secular country. The prime minister has made a very good choice."
Coverage of the election for the 11th President of India
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