Chief ministers of the states ruled by the BJP and its allies are likely to be present on June 23 when NDA pick Ram Nath Kovind file his nomination for the July 17 presidential election. Besides Prime Minister Narendra Modi, virtually the entire council of union ministers, NDA chief ministers and MPs and MLAs from across the country will be among proposers and seconders of his candidature. Kovind, who resigned as Bihar governor today, is a Dalit leader and two-time Rajya Sabha member. He was picked as the ruling NDA’s presidential nominee yesterday. Sources said Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu spoke to NDA chief ministers and urged them to be present at the time of the filing of nomination by Kovind. Naidu also spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami and asked him to be present.
PDP chief and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti assured him of the support of his party to Kovind. Naidu also spoke to former Prime Minister and JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda, DMK leader M K Stalin, PMK leader Anbumani Ramdoss and sought their support. He met Om Prakash Chautala of INLD also, sources said. He also spoke to Odisha Chief Minister Navin Patnaik, who has already announced his party’s support to Kovind, and invited him to be present during the nomination-filing.