It was a rare sight and unexpected scene keeping in view the current differences between Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav over support to Presidential election candidates. Nitish Kumar was seen giving a big hug to Lalu at the iftar party hosted by outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan. The picture of the duo is going viral. Lalu is supporting UPA pick Meira Kumar while Nitish is backing NDA’s Ram Nath Kovind.
The hug between the two comes at the time when Nitish Kumar slammed Opposition parties asking why did they pick daughter of Bihar Meira Kumar to fight a losing battle. “Is daughter of Bihar just chosen to fight a losing battle,” Nitish Kumar said while talking to reporters in Delhi. “We have taken independent decisions in the past also, we had supported Pranab da as President when we were in NDA,” Nitish Kumar said. “This is not a political issue, and it should not be made a subject of political confrontation,” he added.
Earlier, in the day, NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind had filed his nomination papers in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a battery of NDA chief ministers and party leaders. BJP President Amit Shah and party veterans LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were present during the filing of nominations. All chief ministers of BJP-ruled states and its allies except Manohar Parrikar of Goa and Mehbooba Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir were present. Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao and Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami were among those present.
Kovind is guaranteed to get more than 61 per cent of votes, and the finally tally depends on how some still-undecided regional parties vote, PTI reported quoting a BJP source.