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Mamata to skip UPA meet Friday, says Kalam best candidate for president

Thursday June 14, 2012 07:52:06 PM, Agencies

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New Delhi: Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is the Trinamool Congress' first choice and the "best candidate" for president, party chief Mamata Banerjee announced Thursday. She also announced not to attend Friday's UPA meeting on deciding a presidential candidate.

"Kalam is the best candidate possible, he is our first choice. We had asked for a consensus candidate, that's why we gave so many names," Banerjee told reporters here.

"We want consensus on Kalam," she added.

Banerjee also said that she will not go back on the names she and Samajwadi Party supreme Mulayam Singh Yadav had proposed Wednesday.

The two leaders had proposed the names of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Abdul Kalam and former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee.

She also dared the Congress to sever links with her party, saying while the Trinamool had not severed ties with the United Progressive Alliance, the Congress was free to break with her party.

Mamata Banerjee also said she will not attend Friday's UPA meeting on deciding a presidential candidate.

"I am not here (tomorrow Friday) as I had said that I will wait for 26 hours and I am returning after meeting (Samajwadi Party chief) Mulayam Singh (Yadav)," she told reporters ahead of the meeting.

The United Progressive Alliance has called a meeting Friday to decide on a presidential candidate.








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