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Prez polls: AK Antony meets Karuna

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, an ally of the ruling UPA government, also had said that he wants a non-political person to become the next president.



Zeenews Bureau

Chennai: With two months left for Presidential Elections, Congress is leaving no stone unturned in building consensus for the presidential nominee.

As part of consultation process among UPA allies on the polls to arrive at a consensus leader, Defence Minister AK Antony on Sunday met DMK chief and UPA ally M Karunanidhi. The duo discussed presidential polls.

After the meeting, Antony said that he will convey Karunanidhi’s views on the issue to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

"It was a very, very fruitful meeting. I will report to the Congress president whatever he said", he told reporters, refusing to disclose details about his discussion.
Observing that Gandhi had asked him to meet the DMK chief to discuss about the "present political situation", he said, "What we discussed, I will convey to the Congress president".

He said Karunanidhi is one of the senior-most leaders in the country and "we always value his advice".

DMK Parliamentary party leader TR Baalu and Karunanidhi`s daughter and party MP, Kanimozhi, were also present.

The meeting assumes great significance as few days back there were reports of some UPA alliance partners like Samajwadi Party and NCP pitching for non-political person as the nominee for the president’s post.
Earlier this week, Agriculture Minister and NCP leader Sharad Pawar met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and reportedly urged her on the need for a consensus on the new president.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, an ally of the ruling UPA government, also had said that he wants a non-political person to become the next president.

"In my opinion, a non-political person would be the ideal choice as the next president," Pawar had said.

As the talks of former president APJ Abdul Kalam’s return to Rashtrapati Bhavan are gaining momentum, Kalam on Saturday didn’t rule himself out from the race.

"Let us wait for some time...After that you ask me," Kalam told reporters here when asked whether he was ready to be elected for a second term as President.

His remarks came at a time when political leaders are holding meetings to reach at a consensus for the election of a new president.

Reports say Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi Party, J Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK and Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress have reached an understanding on supporting Kalam for the top post.

(With PTI inputs)

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