Putting an end to speculation, former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday said that he is not in a race to become the country’s next President. When a reporter asked that his name was doing the rounds as a probable (NDA) candidate for the President’s post, 90-year-old Badal dismissed it as merely a rumour. The veteran Akali leader then added, “My health does not allow me … (to take up responsibility of the highest office)”.
Recently, in his home constituency Lambi also, Badal had echoed the same sentiments, “I have listened to rumours about my name, but there is no truth. I want to serve my own state till I am alive and moreover, I am not keen for this post (President)”.
Badal, five-time chief minister, also indicated during a brief interaction with reporters at Chandigarh on the sidelines of a party meet, that he may not attend the budget session of the Punjab assembly, which commences at Chandigarh on Wednesday, on health grounds since he was not feeling well.