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I proposed Kalam's name for president: Mamata

Monday January 30, 2012 07:22:23 PM, IANS

Kolkata: In what is being seen as a bid to reach out to Muslims ahead of the panchayat polls, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday claimed that she had proposed the name of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for the president's post to the then prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

"When discussions were going on for the name of the presidential candidate, Atalji one day had called me and asked me what can be done. I had then proposed the name of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Atalji said many parties will not agree with it. I said everybody will agree and it literally happened," the Trinamool Congress supremo told a Bengali news channel.

Trinamool was part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) from 1998 to 2007.

Bharat Ratna awardee Kalam, an eminent scientist, was the president of India from 2002 to 2007.

Speaking about the assembly polls, she said the Trinamool is contesting on some seats in Uttar Pardesh, Uttarakhand and Goa.

"We will fight in some of the seats in Uttar Pradesh. We are also fighting in Goa and Uttarakhand. Actually, people think that we can give them justice, so we are contesting," said Banerjee.

Trinamool contested on 48 of the 60 assembly seats in the just-ended Manipur polls.

"Lot of injustice has been done to the people of Manipur. I have heard that cost of a gas cylinder is Rs.1,800 there. Then there is the law (AFSPA) which enables security people to shoot at sight. This is really bad. I want Manipur to be peaceful," said Banerjee.

Last week, Banerjee had visited Manipur to canvass for her party candidates. She also met Irom Sharmila -- currently in judicial custody and on a 12-year fast to demand withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that gives legal immunity to security forces during counter-insurgency operations.






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(Photo: IANS/Amlan Paliwal)



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