Cong not closed any option on Presidential candidate

Congress said it was not close to any option to decide who will be the next President even as it frowned on suggestions that the next person for the Rashtrapati Bhawan should not be a politician.

New Delhi: Congress on Monday said it was not close to any option to decide who will be the next President even as it frowned on suggestions that the next person for the Rashtrapati Bhawan should not be a politician saying such a view amounted to actually belittling incumbent Pratibha Patil.

As NCP chief Sharad Pawar favoured a person with "not too much" of a political mind for the Presidentship, Congress spokesperson Reuka Chowdhary spoke of consenus saying the party had an "open mind" on the issue.

"It is actually belittling current President. There is a history that shows that in India, the President is not aligned to any political party. We do not see any insecurity in from wherever he or she comes," Chowdhary told reporters at the AICC briefing.

She at the same time made it clear that the party has not closed any option or rigid against any name.

"We will listen to them. They are our allies. If they have some opinion, it is our duty to listen to them. We are listening to all views. But a decision will be taken in this regard by the Core Commmittee,"she said when asked about Pawar`s remarks as well as Samajwadi Party`s preference to put up former President APJ Abdul Kalam as the candidate.

To repeated questions on a second term for Kalam, Chowdhary said "I cannot say...If the collective thinking is that, so be it".

PTI

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