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Sangma withdraws himself from presidential race; seeks consensus for Abdul Kalam

Author: Headlines Today Bureau
Publication: India Today
Date: June 14, 2012
URL: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/sangma-withdraws-from-presidential-race-seeks-consensus-kalam/1/200601.html

In a surprise turn of events, presidential hopeful P.A. Sangma has decided not to contest the election scheduled next month. Instead, the NCP leader articulated his support for former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for the post of President.
The former Lok Sabha speaker claimed that his only aim was to push for a tribal candidate and build a strong case for it. He also urged all political parties to stand united to build consensus for the presidential candidate.
Sangma pushed Kalam's case and sought consensus for his candidature cutting across party lines. He himself had earlier received support from Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa for the post of president even as his own party chose not to support his candidature.
Meanwhile, BJD's Jay Panda struck a cautious note on the developments even as Sangma announced his withdrawal from the race.

"When Naveen Patnaik announced support for Sangma, it was done after consultations inside and outside the party... None of the names today has enough support that the issue can be considered settled. We will have to observe this development and hold consultations within the party before we take a call. Until that decision is made, our support for Sangma continues," Panda said.
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