New Delhi: With the Presidential election getting closer, speculatuion is rife that APJ Abdul Kalam might return to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The recent reports suggest that former President Kalam is likely to return to the top post as some of the influential political bigwigs including Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee and AIADMK Chief J Jayalalithaa are backing his name.

A Muslim will be ideal for Prez’s post, hints SP

Samajwadi Party general secretary Kiranmoy Nanda has recently met Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to discuss the strategy for bringing an ideal candidate to replace Pratibha Patil in the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Sources from the party have claimed that the SP is eyeing a Muslim nominee, who is presently holding an important position. However, they denied revealing the name.

A senior SP leader said, “The Presidential election is very crucial. We are trying to build consensus with the political parties over the nominees. But it is highly unpredictable.”

Pawar for apolitical person
Agriculture Minister and key UPA ally Sharad Pawar had favoured a non-political candidate as the next President in view of the fact that UPA and NDA did not have the strength to get elected their own nominee.
Becoming the first UPA leader to express in public his preference for the presidential candidate, Pawar denied that his NCP had endorsed P A Sangma as a possible contender.
"Both UPA and NDA don't have the required numbers to ensure that the candidate of their choice gets elected as the next President. Hence, I feel that a non-political person can be an ideal choice," Pawar told reporters here.
"We have a total of 16 MPs and know our limitations. All political parties should initiate a dialogue to find out a consensus candidate on merit, who does not have political background," Pawar said, denying that NCP had put forward Sangma's name.
His remarks came close on the heels of Congress saying that it has not so far started any discussion on the issue and would work for a consensus in the matter.

Ansari, Pranab: Leading contenders

The names of Vice President Hamid Ansari and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee are doing the rounds as nominees for the top post which falls vacant on July 24 when Pratibha Patil's term ends.
A new Vice-President has to be elected by August and a section of the opposition is favouring a 'give and take' approach between the UPA and NDA.

President’s election: Another Mamata headache to Centre?

The emerging difference between the Congress and major UPA constituent Mamata Banerjee over the choice of nominee for the prestigious post can likely be another jolt from TMC to the Central government.
The UPA does not have a majority in the Electoral College that elects the President. The Congress has 31 percent of the total votes against 24 percent of the BJP in an electoral college that is expected to be of the size of 10,98,882. The UPA has a little over 40 percent of the total votes against 57 percent it had in the last elections. The NDA has less than 30 percent.
Hence, the role of parties like TMC, SP, AIADMK, BSP and BJD assumes significance. Two key UPA allies Trinamool Congress and DMK have not yet disclosed their stand on the issue.