'Mighty mind' APJ Abdul Kalam 'only President to be elected unopposed after 1977': Pranab Mukherjee
President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday expressed his condolence over the demise of former president APJ Abdul Kalam, saying the Missile Man had a 'mighty mind' and added that he was the only President to be elected unopposed after 1977.
New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday expressed his condolence over the demise of former president APJ Abdul Kalam, saying the Missile Man had a 'mighty mind' and added that he was the only President to be elected unopposed after 1977.
"After '77 only Dr Kalam was elected unopposed President. Even during Dr Rajendra Prasad's nomination, there was contest. It was useless but still there was contest," Mukherjee told ANI here.
"I received two to three poems which he wrote. He used to quietly write when we went to pay respects to soldiers He had a mighty mind," he added.
Top leaders, including Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and senior BJP leader LK Advani, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, were among those present who paid their tributes to the mortal remains of the Missile Man at his residence here at 10, Rajaji Marg.
Kalam's last rites will be performed at his hometown Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
The Defence Ministry has said that the public can pay homage to the late president at his 10, Rajaji Marg residence from 4 pm onwards.
Parliament has been adjourned for two days after members offered their tribute and observed two-minutes silence as a mark of respect to the late leader's memory.
Kalam passed away in Shillong last evening.
He collapsed after a massive cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management in Shillong yesterday.
The government has declared a seven-day national mourning as a mark of respect for Dr Kalam, who played a stellar role in advancing India's nuclear programme.
Considered the most popular president, Kalam became the11th head of the state and occupied the post between 2002 and 2007 during the NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.