In a statement, the former President pointed out that "though I have never aspired to serve another term or shown interest in contesting the elections", the Trinamool Congress and other political parties "wanted me" to be the candidate.
"Many, many citizens have also expressed the same wish. It only reflects their love and affection for me and the aspiration of the people. I am really overwhelmed by this support. This being their wish, I respect it. I want to thank them for the trust they have in me," he said.
"I have considered the totality of the matter and the present political situation, and decided not to contest the Presidential elections 2012," Kalam added.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party had proposed three names including that of Kalam on Jun 13.
Though the latter changed his stand a day later, the Trinamool Congress supremo continued to back Kalam even after the UPA, of which her party is a constituent, announced that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is their candidate.
The opposition too tried to persuade Kalam to contest and BJP leaders met him several times in this connection. Apparently he was not convinced by their arguments.
The BJP still has the option of aiding BJD and AIADMK in their efforts to get PA Sangma elected as the first citizen of the country. However, this could lead to a split in the NDA as parties like the Shiv Sena and the JD(U) are reportedly not in favour of supporting the NCP leader.
Incidentally Sangma's own party has asked him to back out from the race but he has refused to heed them. As long as he remains in the fray, Pranab's unanimous election is not possible.