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President not averse to second term

APJ Kalam recalls nostalgically the 'phone call he received from New Delhi' in 2002, asking him to contest the president's post for the first time, reports Srinand Jha.

india Updated: Apr 25, 2007 05:15 IST

President APJ Abdul Kalam is not averse to a second term. “The pre-qualification for the highest constitutional post of a President is the ability of an individual to serve the nation”, President Kalam told journalists on board a special aircraft on Tuesday. “I will continue to serve the nation in whatever capacity possible," he added.

Kalam whose term expires on July 24, recalls nostalgically the 'phone call he received from New Delhi' in 2002, asking him to contest for the President's post. At the time, he was teaching at Chennai’s Anna University. An official indicated that if the second term prospects do not materialise, Kalam will in all probabilities go back to teaching at the same University on his pet subject: The role of technology in enabling societal transformation.

About the ongoing quota controversy, the President said a solution to the problem can be found by increasing the number of seats in all professional institutions.

Currently on a tour of France and Greece, Kalam said his expectation is that India’s multi-party system will graduate into a two-party system in the future. On the subject of capital punishment, the President said that the issue was a serious one that needed to be debated by society and the government. Specifically quizzed on the amnesty plea for Afzal Guru, the President said that he would take a decision in accordance with the constitutional provisions after the matter is referred to him. Presently, the SC and the Govt have to take a view in the matter, he said.

He is scheduled to address the European Parliament at Strasbourg on Wednesday. Subsequently, he will depart on a three day tour of Greece.

First Published: Apr 25, 2007 01:39 IST