Former President A P J Abdul Kalam, who has been criticised by some parties for disclosing that he was willing to invite Sonia Gandhi to be the prime minister in 2004, has maintained that the Supreme Court had upheld her citizenship and she was "Constitutionally" eligible.
"I have said already in the book because Constitutionally Supreme Court says that she (Gandhi) is a citizen. So, Constitutionally if the majority party says she should be appointed. But she did not... she put Manmohan Singhji. There is no controversy in my mind," he told PTI here.
Kalam was reacting on the sidelines of a function when asked about the controversy generated by his book 'Turning Points' because of the mention that he was ready to swear in Gandhi as the prime minister despite pressure from various political leaders before she nominated Singh.
National Democratic Alliance convenor and Janata Dal-United president Sharad Yadav on Monday hit out at Kalam, saying "his conscience has woken up late. It is for self-aggrandisement. We used to respect him a lot but now are very saddened after such comments."
Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray also has hit out at Kalam for making the statement after so many years and called him "hypocrite" and "shallow".
Earlier, BJP had also criticised him for the comments.
Kalam's stand on the political situation after the Lok Sabha elections lifted the veil on an episode that has been intensely speculated upon that he was reluctant to appoint the Italian-born Gandhi as the country's prime minister.
The former President says in the book that he was almost certain that Gandhi would head the UPA government but Rashtrapati Bhavan had to rework the appointment letter after the Congress chief nominated Singh as the prime minister.