Antony not to contest LS poll

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New Delhi, Aug 17 (UNI) Defence Minister A K Antony today said he would not contest the next Lok Sabha elections due early next year.

"I am not contesting the next Lok Sabha elections," Mr Antony told mediapersons, setting at rest speculation about his seeking election to the Lok Sabha either from Thiruvananthapuram or Idukki constituency in Kerala.

Mr Antony's quick reply came when he was asked if he would be a candidate of the Congress in Kerala in the next General Elections.

Mr Antony, who has been a member of Rajya Sabha since 2004, was Chief Minister of Kerala three times.

He was inducted into the Manmohan Singh government as Defence Minister two years ago after Mr Pranab Mukherjee was shifted to the External Affairs Ministry.

Mr Antony was Minister for food and civil supplies for nearly a year in the Narasimha Rao ministry in early 90s.

UNI SH BST2137

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