Atal Bihari Vajpayee had called Amar Singh and Mulayam Singh Yadav as PMO. Here he discussed the name of the President.
Dr Abdul Kalam Azad was the 11th President of the country. Abdul Kalam Azad’s name was stamped in the then NDA government, but earlier he was not the first choice of BJP. In a meeting of Atal Bihari Vajpayee with former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh, an agreement was reached on Kalam’s name. Late Amar Singh had told an anecdote related to this in an interview.
Mulayam-Amar Singh was called PMO: In a conversation with late journalist Rohit Sardana, Amar Singh had said, “It is true that we had extended support to the Left in favor of Narayanan ji. Respected Atal ji, Advani ji and Pramod Mahajan had called me and Mulayam Singh as PMO. We were often called during Atal ji’s time. After this no Prime Minister has given me this good fortune. Atal ji used to even consult me on many important subjects.
Amar Singh further explains, ‘There Atal ji said that we have decided the name of PC Alexander for the President. I told him that if the campaign is going on against the party in Gujarat, it would have been fine if he had made a Muslim. Advani ji suddenly asked me, ‘Is any President a Muslim?’ I told him, ‘He is a Bharat Ratna, studies Gita, is unmarried, why doesn’t the doctor who lives behind Pokhran do it to Kalam? We also did not expect that Dr Kalam’s name would be approved immediately.
Vajpayee called Kalam: Amar Singh further explains, ‘We will say that Atal ji bowing down to Advani ji, that he has announced this name. Today at least people always take pride in this. According to the report of ‘Tice of India’, in the year 2002, Kalam was giving lectures at Anna University in Chennai. When Kalam returned after teaching, the VC of Anna University told that he is getting constant calls from Delhi.
After a while the phone rang again and Kalam picked up the phone. A voice came from the front that the Prime Minister wants to talk to you. The next voice was that of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Atal Bihari Vajpayee explains that the party decided to make him its presidential candidate and for this all they need is his consent. Kalam asked for some time and after about two hours had given ‘yes’ to Vajpayee.