Special Correspondent

He should step down gracefully: Lalu Prasad

NEW DELHI: The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and Left parties on Thursday rejected the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) suggestion that President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam be given a second term.

There was no discordant note from the ruling combine. All the UPA constituents and Left parties contacted by the UNPA had the stock reply.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India told the UNPA that they would not reconsider nomination of the former Rajasthan Governor, Pratibha Patil.

Railway Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad said: “Mr. Kalam should step down gracefully as there is no room for reconsideration on the issue.”

They were talking to reporters after a meeting with UNPA leaders

This rejection of the UNPA’s suggestion was also registered on paper by many of the UPA constituents. They signed the nomination papers of Ms. Patil, who met Mr. Kalam in the afternoon to hand over her resignation as Rajasthan Governor.

Later, she attended a party meeting at Sonia Gandhi’s residence. Among those who signed Ms. Patil’s nomination papers on Thursday were: Mr. Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi, Mr. Pawar, Basudeb Acharia of the CPI(M), Minister of State for External Affairs and Indian Union Muslim League secretary E. Ahamad, Hemlal Murmu of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Nakul Das of the Sikkim Democratic Front and Ramdas Athawale of the Republican Party of India (A).

Though not part of the UPA, Rashtriya Lok Dal president Ajit Singh also signed her nomination papers.

Karunanidhi: he turned down my suggestion

Chennai Special Correspondent reports:

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Thursday said Mr. Kalam politely turned down his suggestion that he seek a second term when the two met in New Delhi on December 8 last.

Mr. Kalam told him that he was more interested in pursuing academic activities and working with students of scientific institutions, Mr. Karunanidhi said.

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