New Delhi: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam came under severe attack from the ruling UPA-Left combine for his willingness to seek a second term as the Third Front and the NDA appeared to put the ball in his court to take the plunge.
The campaign by the newly-formed United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) for a second term for Kalam met with stiff resistance from the Congress-led alliance, which wanted him to exit gracefully, telling him, in the words of Sharad Pawar, “the match is over”.
The UPA and the Left rejected any rethinking on the candidature of Pratibha Patil, who resigned as governor of Rajasthan to contest the presidential election. She handed over her resignation to Kalam, who on Wednesday indicated that he was willing to contest if there was certainty about his success.
A delegation of the UNPA met leaders of the UPA and the Left parties, and was rebuffed. Unfazed, a UNPA delegation met NDA leaders to chalk out a strategy to persuade Kalam to contest the 19 July election.
The two-hour meeting remained inconclusive. The UNPA now plans to meet President Kalam on Friday in a bid to convince him yet again to contest for a second term.