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Jun 18, 2012, 06.13 PM IST | Source: PTI

Kalam snubs Mamata, BJP; decides not to contest

Kalam snubs Mamata, BJP; decides not to contest

New Delhi, June 18 (PTI) Breaking his silence, A P J Abdul Kalam today declared that he would not contest the Presidential poll, snubbing Trinamool Congress and BJP which wanted him to be the Opposition's candidate against UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee. Kalam, the former President whose name was propped up by Trinamool leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, said he had taken the decision of not entering the fray after considering "the totality of this matter and the present political situation". In a statement here, he made it clear that he had "never aspired to serve another term or shown interest in contesting the elections" but Mamata and "other political parties" wanted him to be the candidate for the Presidential poll to be held on July 19. "I have considered the totality of this matter and the present political situation, and decided not to contest the Presidential election 2012," Kalam said. The former President, who had earlier insisted that he could consider entering the fray only if there was surety about his victory, took the decision to stay away apparently as he was sure that numbers were not in his favour despite Trinamool, BJP and some other parties. Clearly snubbed, Trinamool Congress, which broke the ranks with UPA to pit him in the fray, did not give any reaction immediately on the development. BJP, which was trying to persuade Kalam to be the common nominee of the Opposition, also refused to react, saying any decision on whether or not to have a candidate against Mukherjee would be taken by the NDA, which is likely to meet tomorrow. Congress welcomed Kalam's decision and asked Mamata to again consider supporting Mukherjee. (MORE) PTI ADS ETB RC NAB AKK

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