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Vajpayee praises Kalam
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | June 26, 2007 23:27 IST
Former prime minister of India and leader of the National Democratic Alliance Atal Bihari Vajpayee thanked President A P J Abdul Kalam for maintaining the dignity of the highest office of the land and completing his term in office.
Vajpayee also warmly congratulated Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, independent candidate supported by NDA for the post of presidentship, for offering to not contest in case Kalam becomes a candidate.
Party spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy gave a complete description of Vajpayee's statement on the concluding day of the national executive committee of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Vajpayee said that the seeds of emergency were sown in 1969 when Indira Gandhi [Images] chose V V Giri to contest against the official Congress candidate Dr Neelam Sanjiv Reddy and ensured the defeat of the official nominee.
Hence, what is happening now is similar to what had happened then, Vajpayee said. He blamed former president Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed for signing the emergency declaration without applying his mind.
"If he had tried to explain to Indira Gandhi that this was not proper, then perhaps the situation would have been different," he said.
Vajpayee appealed to the presidential electorate to vote for Shekhawat who has a distiniguished record of 55 years in public service. He questioned the setting up a committee on Indo-US nuclear deal and wanted to know whether the government planned to make major changes in its foreign policy to suit the American government.