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Kalam not to contest presidential poll

Onkar Singh in New Delhi
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June 22, 2007 19:11 IST

President Abdul Kalam has declined to run for a second term, S M Khan, the president's press secretary, said.

Kalam also conveyed his decision to a delegation of United Progressive Alliance leaders led by Jayalalithaa and Chandrababu Naidu.

"The president has made it clear that he does not want to run for another term in the office as he does not want to involve the office of the President in any controversy," Khan told

Jayalalithaa had flown from Chennai in a last ditch effort to ask Kalam to contest the election as the joint candidate of the UNPA and National Democratic Alliance.

Though the decision had been conveyed to the leaders of UNPA during the meeting itself, they chose to meet NDA leaders and address the media at the residence of Amar Singh of Samajvadi Party in Lodhi Estate.

Two days ago, Kalam said he was willing to consider a second term in office provided there was certainty about his victory.

Leaders of the United Progressive Alliance -- particularly Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar [Images] -- and the Left parties had launched a scathing attack on Kalam.

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