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Not interested in a second term: Kalam

With four months more for his tenure to end, President APJ Kalam expresses desire to teach undergraduates.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2007 11:55 IST

With about four months left in his tenure, President APJ Abdul Kalam has indicated that he is not interested in another term in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

In remarks that are bound to influence the permutations and combinations of various parties for presidential polls due in July, Kalam said at a function at the Madras Institute of Technology, "I will return here in three months' time to give a series of four to five lectures on nanotechnology and its many dimensions."

"I would particularly like to teach undergraduate students," he said on Friday at the Institute in Chennai which is his alma mater.

An NDA delegation met Kalam a few months ago and told him the opposition combine would be with him if he wanted to run for a second term.

"The dignity of the office of president has been enhanced by Kalam. We have told him that if he wants to run for another term, we are with him," BJP President Rajnath Singh had said after he met Kalam three months ago along with LK Advani and George Fernandes.

The refrain in political circles is that permutations and combinations will be based on the outcome of assembly polls in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and especially Uttar Pradesh.

Several names - Congress veterans Karan Singh and Sushil Kumar Shinde, BJP stalwart and Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, CPI-M's long-standing parliamentarian - are making the round for the top job.

The Samajwadi Party, fighting a battle of survival in the wake of Congress' efforts to impose president's rule in Uttar Pradesh, had last week announced its support for Chatterjee for the top job in an apparent gesture for the CPI-M opposing Central rule in the state.

Rajendra Prasad, the first President, had the unique distinction of getting a second term. Shekhawat became vice-president in 2002 by defeating Shinde, who was a combined opposition candidate hand-picked by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

The President is elected by members of an electoral college comprising members of both Houses of Parliament and legislative assemblies including those of Delhi and Puducherry. The UPA and its allies have a majority in both Houses of Parliament.

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