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Kalam not the right choice for Left

Jun 21, 2007 12:06 PM IST Politics Politics

New Delhi: The verdict is out and the Left - which is trying to prove that it is right in its reservations for a second presidential term for Dr APJ Abdul Kalam - has said that it will not support Kalam for a second term.

"Prakash Karat informed the leaders that the CPI-M has already decided to extend support to the UPA nominee, Pratibha Patil. In view of this, the matter cannot be considered," the CPI-M said in a statement after UNPA leaders Chandrababu Naidu and Mulayam Singh Yadav met the Left leader.

The Left made its feelings against a second term for Kalam clearly known at the meeting between UNPA leaders and CPI-M's Prakash Karat on Thursday morning.

"We are doing our job. We are not at all disappointed with the Left front's response. We will continue our effort. We will talk to all political parties in the country," Telugu Desam party Chief, N Chandrababu Naidu said after the meeting.

Left leaders had stressed on the fact that it may be too late for Kalam to be in the race for Rashtrapati Bhavan.

In fact, CPI-M National Secretary D Raja was quoted by news agency PTI as saying that they could not support Kalam simply because they had already finalised on Pratibbha Patil and would be supporting the UPA's candidate.

The Left parties stated that they wanted a President who was political and secular and though they added that there was no doubt about Kalam's secular credentials, but it was common knowledge that Kalam did not have any political leanings.

The reaction of the Left came after Karat had assured UNPA leaders that his party would consider the Third Front's suggestion.

"We have told them (CPI-M) very clearly that the mood of the nation and the will of the people was for a second term to Kalam. He (Prakash Karat) said he will discuss it in the party," Naidu, was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.

"Even NDA, which had decided to support Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, but said they will discuss our proposal today," Naidu added.

Meanwhile, the Congress has already rejected the UNPA's plea for Kalam's re-election. The Congress had attacked UNPA leaders saying that they were simply trying to create unwarranted confusion and that they were playing politics.

On Wednesday, bowing to public pressure Kalam made it clear to the Third Front or UNPA leaders that he would run for President again only if there was a consensus on his re-election.

The President said he was willing to wait for a few days for a more clear picture to emerge.