While (UPA) presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee and NDA presidential candidate PA Sangma set out on their individual election campaigns yesterday, BJP and Congress were at loggerheads over APJ Kalam's remark on Sonia Gandhi
In an attempt to kickstart his election campaign meeting, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee met DMK party president M Karunanidhi to seek his party’s support. Mukherjee was greeted with a rousing welcome of drumbeats. “DMK was a major constitutent in both UPA-I and UPA-II. He said he would seek the support of the parties,” said Mukherjee.
Meanwhile, NDA presidential candidate PA Sangma chose to play the trial card. The former Lok Sabha speaker appealed to politicians in the mostly Congress-ruled northeastern states — a majority are tribals — to support his candidature “without any doubt or fear.”
“I am a tribal candidate from the northeast. The presidential election is above party politics and no party can officially enforce any whip. I appeal to members of electoral colleges in all states to vote for me,” said Sangma, who will begin his campaign for the presidential polls from Tura today. The veteran politician expressed his confidence about winning the presidential elections. “I have contested parliamentary elections nine times and legislative assembly elections twice and won all of them. I have never lost elections in my life and I am going to win this presidential election too,” said Sangma.
“I thank the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) of Assam, United Democratic Party (UDP), Hill State Peoples’ Democratic Party of Meghalaya, Mizo National Front (MNF) of Mizoram and many more parties who have decided to support me,” he said.
Kalam’s controversial decisions
In a chapter titled Controversial Decisions in his latest book Turning Points, former president APJ Abdul Kalam says if Sonia Gandhi, as chief of the victorious party, would have made “any claim for herself, I would have had no option but to appoint her.”
The BJP had vociferously protested any move to make her
Prime Minister and Sushma Swaraj had vowed to shave her head if Gandhi was made the head of government.
Reacting to Kalam’s statement, the BJP said Gandhi was ultimately the “super Prime Minister.” “Kalam saab has said this earlier as well. But that does not make Sonia Gandhi ‘Mother India’, she is still the super PM, it is power without accountability,” BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said. The Congress said it proves the BJP was opposed to Gandhi’s prime ministerial candidature