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June 18, 2012

Abdul Kalam will not contest presidential poll

AbdulNew Delhi, June 18: In an official statement, former President A P J Abdul Kalam has said he will not contest the presidential election 2012 to be held on July 19.

The former President said he was aware of the developments in the run-up to the elections but had never aspired for a second term as President.

Kalam also conveyed the same to senior BJP leader L K Advani a short while ago, PTI reported. Kalam reportedly told Advani his conscience did not permit him to contest the presidential election.

Advani had spoke to the former President three times over the issue, sources said.

Earlier, BJP leader Sudheendra Kulkarni also met Kalam on the issue. The NDA meeting on Sunday called to discuss the presidential poll remained inconclusive.

The BJP, for now, has evaded questions on this development. "BJP core group is scheduled to meet at 9pm today at party president Nitin Gadkari's residence to discuss presidential election," a BJP leader said.

Meanwhile, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said he favoured a consensus on the issue of candidature for which efforts were on within the Opposition alliance. "There has been free and fair discussion (in the NDA meeting). We are in favour of consensus (on the President poll) but how will there be a consensus on the issue unless NDA itself comes up with a consensus. Efforts are on to build a consensus and, hence, consultations are continuing in NDA," he told reporters here.

Accepting that he has a "good relationship" with Mukherjee, Kumar said, "My relations with P A Sangma (who is also in the fray) are not bad. In politics, one shares good relations with all."

Abdul Kalam will not contest presidential poll

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