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Somnath surprised at his name figuring in presidential race
PTI
London, June 14, 2012
First Published: 13:47 IST(14/6/2012)
Last Updated: 13:48 IST(14/6/2012)

Surprised at his name being proposed for the presidential post, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has said he will consider the move if there is a large consensus on it.

"If there is a large consensus, then I can consider it. I can be honest," he said, expressing surprise at Samajwadi Party and Trinamool Congress suggesting his name for the post.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his Trinamool counterpart Mamata Banerjee came with the name of Chatterjee along with that of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former President APJ Abdul Kalam, a move seen as a counter to Congress proposals of Pranab Mukherjee and Hamid Ansari.

"I was surprised to see that my name is been suggested by two major political parties. One is an ally of UPA (Trinamool) and another is an important party (SP)... My presence in England itself shows that I was not aware of such possibilities," Chatterjee told NDTV in London.

He said he felt humble though he "never anticipated" it.

Asked whether the Left will support his candidature, he said he is not a party man now though he remains a leftist.

Chatterjee said it was an honour for him that his name has come and it is a "great job" to be the "first servant of the country... according to me this is the highest honour a citizen can dream of."

"I don't know what are the considerations which made Mamata and Mulayam to think about me as a possible candidate. Therefore, I am neither excited nor be eitherway sure about anything. Therefore, I will see the developments," he said.

He said he has certain views about the President post.

"If the President polls become an acute fight between different political parties, then it will be a sad day for the country," he said.


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