New Delhi: 2:46 pm: Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav says his party has supported Pranab Mukherjee's candidature for the Presidential election and Kalam is a closed chapter for them now.
2:15 pm: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani spoke to former President APJ Abdul Kalam in a bid to convince him to contest the Presidential election on Monday morning. Following this, BJP leader Sudheendra Kulkarni met Kalam twice on Monday.
1:20 pm: JDU leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called for consensus on the Presidential candidate. He said that the NDA had not yet decided on the Presidential candidate and will meet again. He also said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sought support from JDU for UPA's Presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee, but the NDA had not decided anything on that yet.
The Samajwadi Party chief said they are supporting Pranab Mukherjee\'s candidature for the Presidential election.
"JDU wants the President to be chosen by consensus. Discussions are on and we will meet again. The Prime Minister spoke with me to support Pranab Mukherjee. But we have not decided on a future course as yet," Nitish said.
12:05 pm Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sudheendra Kulkarni on Monday met former President APJ Abdul Kalam twice.
Former President APJ Abdul Kalam is under pressure from Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to contest the Presidential poll, according to sources. Sources say that the BJP has conveyed to NCP leader PA Sangma that its first choice is Kalam. The BP core group will meet at 9 pm on Monday to discuss the Presidential poll.
Sources say the Shiv Sena is also not keen on Sangma and will wait for the BJP's decision on Kalam. However, sources close to Kalam said he was yet undecided on contesting the Presidential poll.
Mamata Banerjee, who has been backing Dr APJ Kalam's candidature for the President's post is expected to make a formal announcement to her party on Monday evening. A meeting will be held on Monday evening.
Party sources say Mamata will issue a whip instructing the Trinamool MPs and MLAs to fall in line and vote for the candidate she picks.
Sources add that a specific diktat has been issued to ensure no cross-voting. Sources say many of her MLAs and MPs are upset with Mamata's decision to not support UPA's Presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee.
Even as the Congress announced Pranab as its Presidential candidate, Mamata remained firm on Kalam and took to Facebook to gather support for his candidature.
Trinamool MP Kunal Ghosh said the party was firm about backing Kalam for Presidency. He said that Mamata also requested NCP leader PA Sangma to withdraw from the race. "PA Sangma rang up Mamata Banerjee. She requested him to withdraw his nomination in support of Kalam. We are in favour of Kalam and we appeal to all parties to support him."
The RSS is also rooting for APJ Abdul Kalam. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat praised the former president, calling him a good man. However, he said that the RSS was not trying to influence the NDA's decision.
Sources had earlier said that Abdul Kalam was reluctant about contesting the Presidential election. However, there was no official word from Kalam yet.
Meanwhile, the NDA is yet to decide on its candidate. Key NDA allies are divided over whether to give Pranab a contest or not.
Sources said that Senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj were keen on a contest against Pranab. The JD(U), on the other hand, insisted that Pranab shouldn't be challenged.
Meanwhile, another ally the Shiv Sena on Sunday met in Mumbai and authorised its chief Bal Thackeray to take a decision as they are waiting for the NDA to finalise their stand.
President poll: Where the numbers stand:
Total votes (MPs + MLAs) = 10,98,882
Votes needed to elect the President: 5,49,442
Support for Pranab
UPA (-TMC) + RJD + SP + BSP = 5,25,719 (47.8 per cent)
Support for Kalam
NDA (-JDU) + TMC = 3,09973 (28 per cent)
Support for Sangma
BJD + AIADMK = 66427 (6 per cent)