The Trinamool Congress, which is a key NDA ally, has pledged support to president APJ Abdul Kalam for a second term.
Trinamool also made it clear that Kalam would be the first choice of Trinamool Congress in forthcoming presidential election even if NDA’s candidate Bhairon Singh Shekhawat is in the presidential race.
The Trinamool’s announcement comes a day after the newly formed United National Progressive Alliance supported incumbent APJ Abdul Kalam for his second term.
Holding a press conference, Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee said, “APJ Abdul Kalam is our first choice for the post of
President as he is the right candidate. We want a person like Abdul Kalam who is impartial and has a stature. When I attended a meeting of the NDA last month, I had told the NDA leaders that we should support Kalam for his second term”.
Banerjee said that though her announcement is coming a day after the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) supported
Kalam’s candidature for the top post, but she had not discussed the matter with UNPA constituents like AIADMK, TDP, SP and others on this issue.
“We had pledged full support last time too and I had myself proposed the name of APJ Abdul Kalam. This time too, he is our first choice,” said Trinamool chief.
When questioned on what would be the Trinamool’s stand if Shekhawat stays in the race as an NDA candidate or NDA nominated independent candidate, especially as Trinamool is part of NDA, Mamata Banerjee said, “If Kalam contests the presidential poll, we will support him”.
She however added that on Monday even Shekhawat had stated that he would be happy if consensus can be achieved on the candidature of incumbent APJ Abdul Kalam. Banerjee, however, remained noncommittal on who her party would support in case Kalam decline to contest for the second term.
Regarding her recent meeting with Shekhawat during his visit in the city, Banerjee said that May 31 visit was a courtesy call and nothing about presidential election was discussed.