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2-min read

Kalam keeps away from politics

Kalam he decided not to contest for a second term to protect Rashtrapati Bhavan's reputation.

News18test sharma |

Updated:June 23, 2007, 4:23 PM IST
Kalam keeps away from politics
Kalam he decided not to contest for a second term to protect Rashtrapati Bhavan's reputation.

New Delhi: President A P J Abdul Kalam on Saturday explained why he decided not to contest for a second term, saying he had made the Rashtrapati Bhavan “people’s bhavan” and didn’t want to spoil that by getting involved in a “political process”.

"In five years time in Rashtrapati Bhavan we have all worked for transforming it into a people’s bhavan. Rashtrapati Bhavan has become a people's bhavan today. I believe it should be an example for the nation. It should not get degenerated. That is why I said enough is enough," he told PTI journalists at a function.

Asked why he refused to fight the Presidential election, Kalam said "once you are interested and you are a President, then you have to propagate as a candidate.

"It is not a political process when we elect a President. I do not want to become party to a political process. I did not want to damage the name of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, which has been made into a people's Bhavan during my tenure."

Kalam, who leaves office on July 24, said lakhs of people visited the Rashtrapati Bhavan every year. "Not only big guns, small guns also. I don’t want to convert the Rashtrapati Bhavan into a political Bhavan. The President should be a good human being so that he or she will enrich the Rashtrapati Bhavan.”

He parried a question on what he expected his successor to bring to the Rashtrapati Bhavan saying: “I believe that any President who comes, he or she, will bring the core competence and make Rashtrapati Bhavan enriched.”

Asked about his relationship with the two Prime Ministers during his tenure, Kalam said: "Each had a core competence. One is decision-making process and another is expertise. Sometime, one person will have decision-making (capability) and another expertise. A combination will be fantastic."

Kalam said returning the controversial Office of Profit Bill was the most difficult he had made. "One bill (Office of Profit) first time I happened to return. As per the Constitution, the President can do it. I happened to do it for the first time. Also, it became a matter of debate and Parliament took a decision to establish guidelines."

Asked how he would like to be remembered as a President, he said: "As a people's President".

Kalam, 76, on Friday announced he would not stand contest the Presidential election though he had earlier said he would be interested if his victory was “certain”.

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