New Delhi: 12:30 pm: NCP leader PA Sangma made it clear that he won't withdraw from the Presidential race, but at the same time hinted that APJ Abdul Kalam may not contest the Presidential election. "I don't think Kalam will contest. Kalam will not take a risk again," Sangma said.
"I am not standing as the NCP candidate but as the candidate of the 10 crore 'Adiwasi' population," Sangma added.
11:00 AM: The NCP tried to persuade its leader PA Sangma to withdraw from the Presidential race, according to sources. Sangma, however, made it clear that he won't withdraw from the race. Speaking to CNN-IBN, Sangma said, "I will not withdraw from the Presidential race. I will contest in the elections even if Kalam is in the fray."
Sangma made it clear that he won\'t withdraw from the Presidential race and represent the tribal population, if not the NCP.
Sangma also said that he was confident of having the numbers. Sources had said that NCP leader DP Tripathi met PA Sangma to persuade him to withdraw after party chief Sharad Pawar asked him to.
Former President APJ Abdul Kalam remained silent on the Presidential elections and said, "I will take a decision at the right time."
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has invited former President APJ Abdul Kalam for lunch on Friday. Nitish Kumar had also gone to receive APJ Abdul Kalam at the Patna airport on Thursday. Sources say Kalam has accepted his invitation. According to sources, Nitish has said that the NDA is yet to decide on whether Kalam will be their preferred candidate.
The NDA meeting started at 11 am at senior leader LK Advani's residence to discuss the situation. The BJP has, however, said that it was waiting for the UPA to come out with a nominee first.