New Delhi: 11.30 pm: BJP core group meeting on the Presidential elections ends. According to sources, the BJP is keen on a contest and is unlikely to back Pranab Mukherjee in the race. L K Advani is likely to talk to AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to explore if former Lok Sabha speaker P A Sangma can be a joint candidate.
10.45 pm: Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy meets NCP leader P A Sangma at his residence.
8:44 PM: Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that APJ Abdul Kalam's decision of not contesting President poll has hurt her deeply.
Earlier, former president APJ Abdul Kalam pulled out of the race, thanking Mamata Banerjee for her support.
"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," she said on Facebook.
7:37 PM: The Union Ministers of the Trinamool Congress have submitted their resignations to party president Mamata Banerjee. However, Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandopadhyay dismissed the reports saying none of the MPs have submitted resignation.
5:56 pm: BJP MP Maneka Gandhi calls presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee a very capable person.
5:55 pm: TMC leader Derek o Brien tweets: Sad and sorry. All said and done, Salaam Kalam.
4:26 pm: Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari says former president APJ Abdul Kalam has taken the appropriate decision by not contesting presidential poll.
"We have the highest respect for him, if he in his wisdom has taken a decision, it must be an appropriate decision," says Manish Tewari.
"We hope that all parties will rise above political divisions to support the candidature of Pranab Mukherjee. We would like her (Mamata Banerjee) to support Pranab Mukherjee," Tewari
4:22 pm: Kalam's adviser Dr Ponraj says it has been a very difficult decision for him. "He has decided not to run for presidency again," Dr Ponraj.
4:18 pm: NCP leader DP Tripathi says the nation salutes Abdul Kalam for his decision. "We hope Sangma will respect the party's position and will respect the party's stand on UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee," says Tripathi.
4:16 pm: Now that Kalam has opted out Mamata will decide on the future course of action: TMC MP Kalyan Ghosh
3:18 pm: Former president APJ Abdul Kalam is unlikely to contest in the presidential poll. "My conscience is not permitting me to contest," Kalam reportedly told senior BJP leader LK Advani.
"I have decided not to contest for the post of President. I thank Mamata Banerjee for her faith in me," Kalam said in a statement.
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.
"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 had been 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 had conveyed to NCP leader PA Sangma that its first choice is Kalam. The BP core group would now 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 was 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 had also been 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.
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 Sangma
BJD + AIADMK = 66427 (6 per cent)