NDA indicates it will mobilise support for Kalam

NEW DELHI, June 15: BJP-led NDA today indicated that it will try to mobilise support of non-Congress parties for A P J Abdul Kalam, whose name has been floated by SP and Trinamool Congress.
It appeared to rule out backing for P A Sangma, who has been propped up by AIADMK and BJD, as the NDA choice for the Presidential election.
After a 90-minute meeting with NDA partners, the coalition’s Working Chairperson L K Advani said they did not meet to decide the candidate for President and Vice-President today but to exchange notes on the recent developments on the issue and workout the future course of action.
Though the NDA did not spell out any strategy in clear terms, Advani indicated that Sangma may not be their candidate.
“When I met Jayalalithaa yesterday she said she wants NDA to support Sangma. I told her that I respect Sangma. I know him. He has been a good speaker. He belongs to the North East. But I will have to consult the NDA,” he said.
Prodded further, the BJP leader said it would be difficult for a candidate who has the support of only two chief ministers to win the Presidential elections and a lot of effort may be required for Sangma to sail through.
Advani said not only will the NDA coordinate within, it will also reach out to non-Congress parties on a Presidential candidate.
Sources said Kalam’s name was discussed in the NDA meeting today and some BJP leaders are keen that he should be the party candidate. However, Kalam himself appears reluctant as the Opposition lacks the numbers.
“Because of the manner in which the elections are being handled even the polity can be damaged. If the government really wants to correct the situation, let it consult all political parties,” Advani said. (PTI)