Kolkata: Blaming underhand deals for the people's diminishing trust in politicians, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that she is deeply hurt by APJ Abdul Kalam not contesting the July 19 presidential poll.

"Kalam Saheb, you have touched our hearts and our spirit. I have seen your statement that you are not contesting. This news has hurt all of us deeply. You were a People's President and bridged the gap between high office and common people," Banerjee posted on her Facebook page.

Former President Kalam on Monday announced that he had decided not to contest the presidential election after studying "the totality of the matter".

Last week, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh, along with Trinamool Congress chief Banerjee, virtually rejected the candidature of Congress leader and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for the presidential poll.

The two parties on Wednesday named Kalam, former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as their three preferred candidates for President.

"After waiting for 3-4 painful days, some political parties simply failed the people at this critical moment in responding to the clarion call given by so many common citizens of our nation to stand up for a man of impeccable integrity, highest moral character and an inspiration for the young generation of this country," she posted.

Banerjee was left red-faced after Mulayam Singh, who had initially supported the Trinamool leader's nominees, on last Friday did a U-turn and announced that he would support Mukherjee as the country next President.

But an unfazed Banerjee remained firm on her stand to support Kalam. In an oblique reference to Mulayam Singh and the Congress, Banerjee said that the public trust in the political class and institutions was under serious stress due to the rampant corruption and underhand dealings.

"There is a lack of faith of the common people in political entities who partake in rampant corruption and underhand dealings. Some self-seeking politicians have discarded all ethics and thereby have alienated themselves from the people," she said in her third post on Facebook since Saturday.

The Trinamool Congress supremo said, "The people of my country will rise to cleanse Indian politics and bring back honesty, values and ethics."

(Agencies)

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