The National Democratic Alliance's presidential nominee, A P J Abdul Kalam, has conveyed to the government his desire to continue with research and teaching after assuming the highest office.
Kalam expressed his thoughts to the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, Vijay Goel, when the latter called on him at the Anna University campus in Chennai on Friday.
"I asked him how he proposed to do it along with the enormous responsibility of the highest office and he said he is used to working 18 hours a day," Goel, the first NDA dignitary to call on the missile man after he was chosen as the coalition's candidate, said.
During the 40-minute meeting, Kalam told Goel that the country's founding father had two visions: the first was the nation's independence from foreign yoke and the other development.
"The nation requires role models in leadership who can inspire youngsters. There is no dearth of resources and talent in this country but what we need is more creativity," Kalam said, according to Goel.
Asked what was his response was, Goel said, "Who am I to tell anything to
the [future] President. He himself said we can discuss it later."
Kalam is currently working on a project titled 'Use of Technology for Societal Transformation' and is delivering a series of lecture on the subject.
India, Kalam said, should become a member of the Group of Eight countries and all efforts should be made in that direction.
"I found Kalam to be totally calm and at peace, unmindful of the highest office he is going to occupy. The prime minister's [Atal Bihari Vajpayee] choice is indeed excellent and he will prove to be a good President," Goel said.
The minister regretted that Kalam's candidature was being seen on the basis of his religion. "It is most unfortunate. He is one of India's greatest sons."
He said Kalam has taken up his selection for the highest office as a "challenge".
Coverage of the election for the 11th President of India
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