President K R Narayanan on Tuesday night chose not to seek a second term in office, leaving the field clear for National Democratic Alliance candidate A P J Abdul Kalam to become the twelfth President of the country.
A terse statement issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan said there have been reports in the press that Narayanan may be a candidate for the July 15 Presidential poll.
"This is to clarify that Narayanan is not a candidate," the statement said.
Narayanan's decision followed sharp differences within the opposition camp with the Samajwadi Party announcing its support for Kalam.
The delicately-balanced electoral college for the Presidential poll already had a slight edge for the NDA.
With added support of the Samajwadi Party for its surprise choice of Kalam, the NDA nominee would have a decisive edge.
The Congress, which put off its final decision on the issue awaiting Narayanan's stand, has called a meeting of its working committee on Wednesday.
NCP supports Kalam's candidature for presidentship
SP to support Kalam for President's post
Coverage of the election for the 11th President of India
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