Presidential election 2017: Days after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced its presidential candidate, the first floor apartment at 144, North Avenue in Lutyens’ Delhi was not as normal as it used to be. The apartment which belongs to the Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind was exponentially taken over by the security establishment after he was nominated as NDA’s choice for the next President of India. As per a report by Indian Express, Kovind’s residence in Bihar Niwas has now been upgraded with various security measures with official installing X-Ray scanners, door frame metal detectors, monitoring screens for visitors, new barricades along with nearby service lanes and all these to ensure safety and regulate access to Kovind’s house.
Speaking to Indian Express, one of Kovind’s neighbour said, “Before he became Governor, Kovind used to go for a morning walk till the outer walls of Rashtrapati Bhavan at the end of North Avenue. And in a month from now, he can take that morning walk within the President’s Estate. I will continue to walk outside as usual.” Kovind had to stopped going for morning walks since he became Governor of Bihar. His neighbour also informed that Kovind during his official visit to Delhi as Governor, would spend his night at the appartment. “He would conduct his official engagements at Bihar Niwas and come home for the night whenever he was in Delhi,” the neighbour added further.
Same was the routine on Monday too as after finishing his official meetings, Kovind came home late night at around 11: 30 pm and then left for Bihar Niwas the other morning. Kovind may continue to stay at the apartment during the course of his presidential campaign, a source at BJP headquarters told Indian Express.
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However, security personnel explained that the current apartment would be too small as it would be unable to accommodate the unending stream of visitor after Kovind files his nomination papers on June 23. “I guess they will have to make alternate arrangements because it is too small a flat to handle so many visitors,” informed a police official deputed outside the house.
The report also informed that Kovind’s family, while in Delhi, also stay in this apartment. Being a pets lover, the family also arranges food for stray dogs in the neighbourhood. Meanwhile Kovind, while in Bihar Niwas, was called by several senior BJP leaders to complete the paperwork for his nomination application. All these leaders including Kovind was then accompanied by BJP Mps Om Birla and Rakesh Singh who were given the duty to collect signatures of the requisite number of legislators including MPs and MLAs to propose Kovind’s candidature.