New Delhi, June 15 (IANS): Stating that the Samajwadi Party (SP) was with her, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today said former President APJ Abdul Kalam would contest the presidential elections and sent "advance congratulations" to him for a second tenure in office.
Addressing reporters before leaving for Kolkata, a confident Banerjee said Kalam was a candidate for both the SP and the Trinamool. "Mulayam and we are together," she said.
"I stayed in Delhi for two days and after the announcement of our candidates, me and Mulayam Singh-ji waited for 24 hours... but Congress rejected our candidates. Other political parties have not yet responded but whatever response we got it is in favour of Kalam-ji," Banerjee said.
"Kalam-ji will be contesting the elections... our advance congratulations to Kalam-ji."
"He is an asset to the country. He is a man who can glorify India like anything � he is a popular figure in the world and if there is presidential elections directly like America, he would probably be the number one... nobody would contest against him," she said.
The Trinamool chief appealed to all political parties to support Kalam.
"I call upon all political parties. There is no ego and no fight� the president's post is very important� Let's ask all to support Abdul Kalam," she said.
Kalam has not yet committed himself and said he would take the proper decision at the right time.
The SP and the Trinamool Congress had Wednesday named Kalam as one of their three preferred candidates for president. On Thursday, Banerjee said Kalam was their number one choice and reiterated it after a meeting with SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav.