Presidential Election 2017: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in its campaign for the Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, is targeting Independent parties and fence-sitters across the country, the Indian Express reported. In the July 17 election, six independent Rajya Sabha MPs, six Trinamool MLAs and two Congress legislators from Tripura may vote for the NDA nominee, according to BJP leaders. Two out of three Congress MLAs are expected to announce their support for the former Bihar governor in Guwahati, BJP sources said. The NDA is targeting 70 per cent votes of the total MLAs and MPs. All six Independent members in the Rajya Sabha may vote for Kovind. Four MPs, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Sanjay Dattatraya Kakade, Subhash Chandra and Parimal Nathwani, are certain to vote for the BJP, party leaders told the paper. Other Independent RS MPs who may vote for Kovind are Amar Singh, an expelled SP leader, and Odisha’s A V Swamy. Kovind will be campaigning in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday and in Karnataka on Wednesday. In AP, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao will attend him, according to the Indian Express.
According to a PTI report, Kovind has the support of 207 out of the 211 MPs and MLAs in Andhra Pradesh. This leaves only 4 RS members to vote for Congress’s presidential nominee, Meira Kumar. Kumar does not have any support from the 25 Lok Sabha seats in AP and neither from 176 members of the Assembly in the state. Kovind will go to Guwahati and Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday. On Friday, he will visit Nagaland and Manipur.