Kalam should not contest presidential poll: Somnath
Kolkata, June 16 (IANS) Asserting that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee would be the best person for the president's post, former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee Saturday said it would not be appropriate for former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to contest the July 19 presidential election.
"I personally feel that it would not look good if a former president like Kalam again contests the presidential poll. I personally feel that he should back out from the contest," said Chatterjee.
Mukherjee, the central government's most reliable troubleshooter, was Friday named the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance's candidate for the president's post and found backing from many political parties, including Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
"I personally feel that Pranab babu is the best man for this post. It would be good for the country if he becomes president," he said.
On Wednesday, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh had, along with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, virtually rejected Mukherjee, whom Congress president Sonia Gandhi suggested for presidency during her talks with Banerjee.
The SP and Trinamool Wednesday named Kalam, Somnath Chatterjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as their preferred candidates for president. On Thursday, Banerjee said Kalam was their number one choice and reiterated it after a meeting with Mulayam Singh Yadav.
But in less than 48 hours, the SP Friday did a U-turn, and announced it would support Mukherjee as the country's president.
When asked whether he still wishes to contest the presidential polls, Chatterjee said: "Shall I contest the polls on my own? A person can contest only after political parties invite a candidate."
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