New Delhi : Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, named presidential candidate by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), said Monday evening that he would be glad if President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is a consensus candidate.
"Total unity of all political parties is an imperative. I would be happy if that were achieved. President Kalam and I have worked together as a united team for the last five years and have had no differences of viewpoint or approach," Shekhawat said in a statement.
"This high office of the republic is not for political contention or controversy."
The statement comes on a day when the main opposition NDA finally decided to back Shekhawat as an independent candidate for the post while an eight-party Third Front at its meeting in Chennai decided to support Kalam for a second term.
The ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the left parties decided Thursday to field Rajasthan Governor Pratibha Patil for the July 19 election.