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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

BJP wants Kalam as President, Advani makes personal appeal

Agencies  New Delhi, June 18, 2012
First Published: 11:32 IST(18/6/2012) | Last Updated: 15:18 IST(18/6/2012)

All eyes are on APJ Abdul Kalam as he is likely to hold a press conference today amid speculations about whether he will contest for presidential polls or not. Senior BJP leader LK Advani called up Kalam in a bid to convince him to contest for the top post and sent Sudheendra Kulkarni to persuade Kalam.

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Kalam's decision can change the whole political equation, as if in case he agrees to contest for the poll, NDA may decide to support him.

NDA ally JD (U) on Monday remained non-committal on their decision to back BJP candidate. "NDA is trying to create consensus. we have time till June 30. We have time, we'll take it and decide", said party leader and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.

On Friday before UPA announced its presidential candidate, Kalam had said that he will take reight decision at right time.

"It is a good idea, will take right decision at right time," APJ Abdul Kalam told reporters on his name being suggested for President.

TV news channels report, Kalam is being pressurised by several political parties to contest polls.

After being snubbed by the UPA, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee is still keen on Kalam's name for presidential poll.

After UPA announced its decision to back Pranab, Mamata Banerjee said the game is not over yet. She even launched a facebook page seeking support to back Kalam.

"I have said. I won't say anything more. In my life, I do what I say and if someone thinks the game is over, it's not that", she told reporters.

Mamata is expected to formally announce party's candidate for presidential polls. Mamata has issued specific diktat to ensure no cross-voting. A formal announcement will be made on Monday evening.

BJP led NDA on the other hand is still divided on whom to support. On Sunday, BJP sought to bring around their NDA allies to support former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma as a common non-Congress candidate against the UPA’s Pranab Mukherjee in the presidential elections, but failed to overcome the differences.

While the Shiv Sena skipped the meeting, Janata Dal (United) leader Shivanand Tiwari said a contest against Mukherjee was best avoided. But party chief and NDA convenor Sharad Yadav said Advani should get time to work on a consensus over Sangma.

Whole scenario now depends on Kalam's decision as Sangma emerged as BJP's choice only after APJ Abdul Kalam remained non-committal.

 

KEY DEVELOPMENTS:

* Senior BJP leader Advani calls up former President APJ Abdul Kalam

* BJP sends Sudheendra Kulkarni to Kalam's residence to persuade him to contest poll

* JD(U) remains non-committal

* SAD declares support for nominee selected by the BJP


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