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Congress still to finalise its choice for President

New Delhi, Mon, 30 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Apr 30 (ANI): Amid intense speculation over the next Presidential candidate, Congress Party spokesperson Manish Tewari said on Monday that the process to choose the next candidate for the top post has not kicked off formally, and added that one should not create an unnecessary hype.

Tewari said that the august office of the President should not be brought into the realm of unnecessary speculation. While the term of the current President would be ending in July, the formal process to choose the next President has not kicked off.

He, however, accepted that discussions are taking place at certain levels.

"We should allow this whole process to play itself out, rather than create an unnecessary hype about the whole thing," he added.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony met Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M Karunanidhi at his residence in Chennai yesterday to build a consensus for the Congress-led UPA Government's candidate for the presidential election.

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 according to reports may support nuclear scientist APJ Abdul Kalam, who had earlier served as the 11th President of India from July 25, 2002 to July 24, 2007.

Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Shahid Siddiqui had earlier 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 had stated. (ANI)

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