Former President APJ Abdul Kalam, in a press release yesterday, made it clear that he had decided not to contest the Presidential Elections. For Trinamool Congress, an allay of the ruling UPA, this was indeed a big blow, as it had supported Abdul Kalam, a name floated by the opposition NDA.
“We wanted and we still want Mr APJ Abdul Kalam to be our Presidential Candidate, there is no question about that,” said Derek O’Brien, Trinamool MP, to CNN-IBN.
Last week Samajwadi Party did an eleventh hour turn-around, from earlier supporting Kalam along with Trinamool to supporting the UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee. Commenting on that switch, O’Brien said, “All the wheeling and dealing and 2 a.m. meetings and 3 a.m. meetings, people of India have seen what has happened. People of India have sharpened up and smartened up to make their own conclusions.”
TMC is also blamed for playing the political game and using Kalam as a ‘pawn’, as his name was suggested before taking his consent.
“One should read the Kalam’s press release as it gives you the true picture. He endorses and appreciates Mamata Banerjee‘s role. The question of pawn and games will never be considered,” O’Brien said in the party’s defence.