Thursday, June 28, 2007

Nitish package for ‘ex-Prez’ Kalam

The BJP may have overlooked the “contributions” of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam but the Janata Dal-United has not. Instead, this appears to be pay-back time, at least for the Bihar chief minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, who has announced that he ould “rehabilitate” the President after he relinquishes office on 24 July.

Apparently, overwhelmed by the thumping support he always got from the President, Mr Kumar’s NDA government in Bihar is thinking of offering him the top post f “visitor” at the proposed Nalanda International University, coming up at the historical site.
“President Kalam has to play a big role in the revival of the university.

I had discussed the issue with him once and the state government will make a formal request to him to accept the post,” the chief minister told reporters recently. Under the Nalanda Open University Act as passed by the state government recently, the university will have a chancellor, a vice-chancellor and the top post of a visitor.

Curiously, Dr Kalam, while discussing his plans with reporters on Sunday had expressed his wishes that included the one to teach at Nalanda International University.

Mr Kumar had lobbied in Delhi to get Dr Kalam nominated a second term in office, though his efforts did not succeed. Much before the BJP could agree to his request, JD-U sources said, the former had announced the candidature of Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat as its presidential candidate.

Even the Third Front formally urged him to withdraw from the race after he appeared “willing” to contest if there was a “sure-shot victory”. Mr Kumar told reporters on Monday that he had personally proposed Dr Kalam’s name in Delhi but failed in his efforts.

Why this special love for Dr Kalam? The answer is simple. The outgoing President appeared only too “willing” to help Mr Kumar whenever the latter needed his support and went that extra mile to let people know what should be done to bring Bihar on the path to progress and prosperity.

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