Posted: 15 Jun 2012 10:25 AM PDT
The UPA regime's biggest trouble -- Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy -- made a startling admission on Thursday. Appearing on Headlines Today following an inside story in daily Mail Today on former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's return as one of the strongest contenders for the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Swamy revealed that he was acting as "Hanuman" at the behest of BJP veteran L.K. Advani.
Though he praised Advani for his leadership saying the latter paved the way for the return of the "missile man" as a strong contender for the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Swamy insisted that it was he who had first came out with the idea of Kalam's return as the President.
"I spoke to Advani saying that I would like to find out the possibility of Kalam becoming the President again," Swamy told Headlines Today.
"Advani said 'go ahead and find out who all are supportive'," the man who filed several petitions against the UPA government, including those related to the massive 2G spectrum allocation scam, said.
He admitted that he was first asked to find out if Kalam would agree on his name. Kalam though agreed, he wanted a consensus over his name. But Swamy said he convinced the former scientist saying that unanimous decision was unlikely.
"I told him 'don't announce that you will not contest and do not heed to the rumours that are doing the rounds. Believe me, you can get 55 per cent votes in the electoral college'," Swamy said.
Asked if he should be credited for the sudden change of political scenario in the country, Swamy said, "I would compliment Advani rather than myself... He is a great leader... If anybody is the architect, then it is Advani. I just played the role of Hanuman."
Swamy also admitted to speaking to various political parties in and outside the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) apart from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the process of consultation with the leaders was still on.
The inside story
It was during an NDA meeting at the residence of Advani about 10 days ago where Swamy was asked to explore the possibility of bringing Kalam on board to be a presidential candidate.
Besides Advani, BJP was represented by party president Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj and Jaswant Singh. The other leaders present included Shiromani Akali Dal's Sukhbir Singh Badal and Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut.
Swamy started working on the mission the very next day meeting Kalam at his Delhi residence. Kalam was unwilling to throw his hat in the ring unless he was a consensus candidate. He was able to convince Kalam.
Swamy then rushed back to Advani's house to prepare the rest of the game plan. The next step was to reach out to the UPA allies, particularly Samajwadi Party and Trinamool Congress. Since SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had originally backed Kalam's name in 2002, he was easily convinced.
Though the SP resolved to back Kalam at the meeting of its parliamentary board on June 11, it kept the decision secret. However, with some doubts left in his mind, it required another round for Yadav with Jaswant Singh to make up his mind once again on Kalam's candidature.
Swamy then convinced Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee which was the tougher part of his assignment.
After the two UPA associates agreed, the political drama in Delhi was there for everybody to see. Banerjee and Yadav met many times in the capital making the dramatic announcement of their choices on Wednesday evening.
Source : India Today