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Home > News > Report

Kalam has no desire for second term

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | May 14, 2007 09:42 IST
Last Updated: May 14, 2007 19:12 IST


President A P J Abdul Kalam is not keen to seek another term in the office unless there is a unanimous choice. "He has no desire to enter a contest," a top Rashtrapati Bhavan source told rediff.com in an informal chat.

The Left parties have already indicated that they would not give another term to President Kalam.

The United Progressive Alliance leadership is awaiting the response of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ms Mayavati for finalising the name of the presidential candidate.

The election of the new President, if required, would take place in July after President Kalam steps down on July 25.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's remarks that she would apply her mind to the presidential elections after she and her cabinet had been sworn in and that the candidate of her choice could be even a Brahmin and not just Dalit has surprised leading politicians.

Meanwhile, Communist Party of India-Marxist and other Left parties continue to deny that they are lobbying for their own candidate Somnath Chatterjee. A preliminary discussion between the Left parties will take place on Wednesday.

"Though BJP has gone through the worst phase in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the party has not given up hope. It is trying to figure out the number of votes on its side before announcing the name of their nominees for the post of the President," a journalist-turned-politician told rediff.com.

But the Congress seems to be in no hurry.

"We in the congress are not accustomed to work like this. There is going to be no knee-jerk reaction. Congress president Sonia Gandhi will take stock of the situation and then after consulting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she would discuss the matter with the political parties. We still have a lot of time," Congress leader Madhusudan Mistry said.

The Congress has floated the names of External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and former Union minister Karan Singh.

Shinde, being a Dalit, has a greater chance of getting a nod of Mayavati as the presidential nominee. After the drubbing Uttar Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Samajvadi Party have gone silent but they can still play spoilsport by either supporting Bhairon Singh Shekhawat or another term for President Kalam, hoping to rope in the DMK's crucial support to get the necessary numbers.

In the electoral college for the presidential candidate Lok Sabha members have 3,84,490 votes, Rajya Sabha members have 1,64,984 and the state Assemblies together contribute 5,49,474. 






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