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Presidential poll: Antony meets Karunanidhi (Update)

Chennai , Sun, 29 Apr 2012 ANI

Chennai, Apr 29 (ANI): Defence Minister AK Antony on Sunday met Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M Karunanidhi to build a consensus for the Congress-led UPA Government's candidate for the presidential election.

"Soniaji (Sonia Gandhi) asked me to meet Karunanidhiji to discuss about the political situation. We had a detailed discussion about the present situation. What was discussed I will tell the Congress president," Antony told the media after the meeting.

DMK leader TR Balu, Karunanidhi's daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, her mother Rajathimal and TKS Elangovan were present during the meeting.

The DMK has eighteen Lok Sabha MPs, seven Rajya Sabha MPs and 23 MLAs.

The Congress had earlier held talks with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar.

The Congress is reportedly backing the candidature of Vice President Hamid Ansari.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to put up its own candidate for the election, and may reportedly supporting nuclear scientist APJ Abdul Kalam, who had earlier served as the 11th President of India from July 25, 2002 to July 24, 2007.

Recently, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Shahid Siddiqui Samajwadi Party (SP) said his party would definitely back Dr. Kalam if there is a consensus on his name.

Siddiqui said Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had proposed the name of Kalam to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2002, and added that his party would like to see the renowned nuclear scientist return to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

"The name of Dr. Abdul Kalam is also being suggested by many groups and parties. Mulayam Singhji had proposed his name in 2002 to Atalji (former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee), and Atalji accepted that and Kalam Sahab proved to be one of the most popular and most respected president India ever had. And today if there is a consensus on his name, then definitely Samajwadi Party will not be averse to it," he added. (ANI)

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