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Shekhawat will not call on Kalam: NDA
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | June 19, 2007 19:03 IST
Sushma Swaraj, spokesperson of the National Democratic Alliance, said that it was the statesmanship of Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, which made him offer to withdraw from the Presidential race of the Presidentship in case there is a consesus on the name of President Kalam.
She, however, made it clear that at present Shekhawat has no plans to call on Kalam to make the offer formally.
"I am not aware if he is planning to call on President Kalam. But the statement that he made on Monday night shows that he keeps the country above his own ambitions," she said.
Swaraj claimed that the Congress was rattled because of Shekhawat's stature and were therefore panicking.
She ruled out Shekhawat taking back his name keeping in mind the numbers favouring the Congress nominee, Pratibha Patil.
"He is an independent candidate backed by the NDA," she said.
When told that the UPA has rejected any concensus on Kalam's name saying that they have declared a candidate on behalf of the the ruling alliance, Swaraj said, "We would like to know from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi what arethose compulsions that are keeping them away from giving another chance to Kalam in office."
She clarified that NDA has no plans to meet Kalam as they would not like to hijack the Third Front's agenda.
"The Third Front has proposed the name of President Kalam and we would not like to take away the credit from them. We are of the opinion that a sitting President should not contest elections and there should be a consensus on his name," she said.