India Politics
PM begins consultations on next president
May 10, 2007 - 4:18:06 PM

New Delhi, May 10 - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has begun exploratory discussions on the forthcoming elections for the next president, but no specific name has emerged, his aides said Thursday.

'There have been reports in the media regarding elections to the office of the president. Various political parties are consulting each other in this regard,' a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office said.

'The prime minister has had some preliminary and exploratory discussions on this matter with some political leaders. News reports mentioning specific names are speculative and premature,' the statement added.

With the seven-phase Uttar Pradesh assembly elections drawing to a close, the ruling United Progressive Alliance - and its supporting Left partners have started consultations for presidential elections to be held in July.

Samajwadi Party says it will support a presidential candidate set up by the Left parties, but not a Left-supported Congress candidate. The Bharatiya Janata Party is also expected to field its candidate, sources said.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was sworn in India's 11th president on July 25, 2002, for a five-year term.

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