APJ Abdul Kalam refuses to contest presidential polls

APJ Abdul Kalam

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Monday announced that he was not in race to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

“I have considered the totality of the matter and the present political situation, and decided not to contest the presidential elections, 2012,” Kalam said in a statement after rounds of discussion with his close associates and some senior BJP leaders.

Kalam also conveyed his decision to BJP veteran L.K. Advani over phone and party leader Sudheendra Kulkarni, who met the missile man twice on Monday.

Abdul Kalam’s full statement on presidential polls

The BJP was persuading Kalam to contest presidential election even as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) appeared divided over giving a walkover to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Who would you choose as the next President of India

While a section of the BJP and its parent organisation RSS wanted Kalam to contest the election, other key NDA constituents — Janata Dal (United), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Shiv Sena — were said to be in favour of supporting Mukherjee.

Earlier in the day, JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, however, said that there was a need for more discussion in the NDA to arrive at a decision on contesting presidential election.


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