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Lalu for consensus on presidential candidate

May 20, 2012 - New Delhi

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has said the President's post is a sensitive one, and added that the top Constitutional post should go to a candidate who is acceptable to all political parties.

Reacting to reports of various political parties suggesting different names for the President's post, Yadav said: "People have no control over what they say. Everyone is suggesting one name or the other. The post of President is a sensitive one. Everyone should come together and elect a President who is acceptable to all of them and to the people of the country," he said.

Current incumbent Pratibha Devisingh Patil's term ends on July 25 this year. She was sworn-in as the 12th president of India on July 25, 2007.

The president is the constitutional head of the country and also the supreme commander of the armed forces.

Yadav also sounded a positive note on Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram's announcement that the language of Bhojpuri, spoken widely in Bihar and large parts of neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, would be made one of the country's officially recognised languages under the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

"People who speak Bhojpuri live in different parts of India and the world. Many organisations such as the Akhil Bharatiya Bhojpuri Sammelan (All India Bhojpuri Convention) have struggled to let it have its due place. The Home Minister's answer to the question of Bhojpuri when it was raised in Parliament was satisfactory," he added.

Chidambaram had earlier on Thursday said the good news on the issue of inclusion of Bhojpuri language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution to give it official status, would be announced during the next session of Parliament.

"We will consider the two reports (by Sitakant Mahapatra Committee and UPSC on the issue) expeditiously. We will be announcing a decision in the Monsoon Session," he told the Lok Sabha.

The announcement by Chidambaram came after a discussion on a Calling Attention Motion on the issue, as several members belonging to BJP, SP, BSP, RJD, JD-U and some other parties, trooped into the Well of the House, urging Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, who has also been promoting the cause, to direct the government to announce a time-frame for the decision.

Further commenting on the ongoing row over Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan's ban from the Wankhede Stadium for five years, Yadav said the Bollywood actor was targeted because he was a Muslim.

"Shah Rukh Khan was recently insulted. It happened because he is a Muslim, and then, all sorts of allegations were levelled against him, apart from making the police humiliate him. With such inappropriate things happening, it is better that (the IPL) is closed down altogether," he said.

The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) imposed a five-year ban on Khan, alleging that he abused and manhandled security personnel and cricket officials when they prevented him from entering the ground after the Kolkata Knight Riders-Mumbai Indians match on Wednesday (May 16).


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