World News

Prez polls: OPS faction to support NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind

Prez polls: OPS faction to support NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind

Yesterday, the AIADMK (Amma), led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami, had announced its support to Ram Nath Kovind's candidature. "Since the party has made a decision to support the NDA nominee, there is no need to attend the meeting of the opposition parties convened by Congress President Sonia Gandhi", Janata Dal-United spokesman Rajiv Ranjan said. As quoted by news agency ANI, Naidu said, "JDU's support to Ram Nath Kovind clearly speaks of his wider acceptability among non- NDA parties".

While talking to reporters after the meeting of opposition parties, Lalu Prasad Yadav appealed Nitish Kumar to rethink over his decision to support the NDA candidate.

NDA Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday went to meet veteran BJP leader and Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

A final call on the anti-Kovind candidate will be taken at a meeting of the opposition front on June 22, Raja said.

JD (U) leaders said they are happy with Kovind's selection and that it is the matter of Bihar's development.

The development comes ahead of the major Opposition meeting slated to be held on Thursday. Now, they announced the their nominee first and informed us later. Congress general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad has rushed to Patna to dissuade Nitish from backing out, sources said.

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Kovind, it is believed, is the final nail in the coffin of Mayawati's Dalit politics after the near-complete rout of the BSP in the UP elections.

A lawyer by profession, Kovind had also been BJP Scheduled Caste Morcha chief (1998-2002) and president of the All-India Koli Samaj.

The names doing the rounds as possible opposition candidates include former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, both of the Congress and both Dalits.

Kovind's election is all but certain because of the NDA's numbers and the support it has received from regional parties that are not part of the combine.

The Left has asserted that 16 of the 17 parties that had earlier pledged to field a candidate will attend the meeting.


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