Samajwadi Party has not yet decided on presidential candidate: Mulayam

   Apr 24, 7:02 pm

New Delhi, Apr 24 (ANI): Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday said that his party has not yet decided on the candidate for the President's post.

Yadav urged the media to avoid speculations, while dismissing his party leader Shahid Siddiqui's claim, who had earlier favoured renowned nuclear scientist Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's return as President.

"I can't comment about the President's nomination now. My party, the Samajwadi party has not yet had any discussion about the choice of next President. Why are you all in such a hurry? There is a lot of time for the presidential elections, so why are you all in such a hurry?" he said.

Siddiqui, however, made a U-turn on his earlier statement today and contended that what he meant to say was that he would support Kalam if all the political parties backed the renowned scientist's name as the candidate for the President's post.

"I have not taken Kalam's name. I had said that if everyone agrees on the name of Abdul Kalam then we would also support him. I had said this in English that we will not be averse to it. If the media takes the word 'averse' as support then what can I say," said Siddqui.

"I have always said that we have not taken any decision. The media is taking the name of Abdul Kalam and if the journalists ask us about our choice then we say that if everyone agrees on the name then we will also support Kalam," he added.

Siddiqui had earlier on Monday welcomed Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar's suggestion that the president of the country should be a non-political person, and said his party would definitely back Dr. Kalam if there is a consensus on his name.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader M. Venkaiah Naidu called for political parties to arrive at a consensus on this issue.

"President election is very important for the country but no combination either a NDA (National Democratic Alliance) combination or UPA (United Progressive Alliance) combination is having clear majority. So, there has to be a consensus. We have not discussed the names as yet," said Naidu.

"Of course, Kalam has been our choice and he was one of the best President India ever had. We have to discuss it," he added.

Abdul Kalam served as the 11th President of India, succeeding K. R. Narayanan. He served from July 25, 2002 to July 24, 2007.

According to media reports, some of the possible contenders for the President's post, which falls vacant on July 24 when Pratibha Devisingh Patil's term ends, nclude APJ Abdul Kalam, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister's Advisor Sam Pitroda and Infosys' Narayan Murthy. (ANI)

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