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BJP not against Narayanan: Rajagopal

By Our Staff Reporter

Coimbatore May 22. ``The BJP has nothing against the President, K.R. Narayanan,'' the Union Minister of State for Railways, O. Rajagopal, said here today in a veiled reference to the charge that the party was against a second term in presidentship for Mr. Narayanan.

Talking to reporters, he said that during the previous presidential election, the Congress unilaterally decided on Mr. Narayanan's candidature without even consulting the BJP ``for courtesy'' despite its having been the main Opposition. But still, for a consensus, the BJP went out of the way to support his candidature.

``In the history of the Indian republic, there is no precedence of an incumbent President getting a second term.'' Hence, during the last meeting, ``the NDA took a stand that there should not be any deviation from this custom''.

The BJP was still in the process of consulting the constituents of the NDA and would consult the Opposition as well to evolve a consensus.

``The name of the Maharashtra Governor, P.C. Alexander, was not indicative of our choice, we are still in consultation and it was one of the names that were considered by the NDA.''

To a charge that the BJP was trying to woo the minorities by naming Mr. Alexander for the presidentship in general and to satisfy the U.S. in particular, Mr. Rajagopal pointed out that even the name of Abdul Kalam was under consideration.

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