Presidential Election 2017: Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav on Sunday said that he has voted for the NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind in the Presidential poll on party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s direction. Shivpal Yadav’s vote to Ram Nath Kovind came as an open defiance of party president Akhilesh Yadav’s decision to vote for Congress fielded candidate Meira Kumar. Speaking to ABP news, Shivpal said that even more Samajwadi Party legislators and MPs would vote in support of Kovind. He added that Meira Kumar never asked for his support, while Kovind, who is a neighbor and known person to him, had done so. He added that Kovind is more secular and socialist. “If the party did not take any of my opinions then why should I accept it?” Shivpal said.
Earlier, a senior SP leader had told Indian Express that over five Rajya Sabha members can support Ram Nath Kovind as they are loyal to Mulayam Singh Yadav. “There are over five Rajya Sabha members who could vote for the NDA candidate because they are loyal to Netaji (Mulayam). But most SP legislators would vote for Meira Kumar,” a leader was quoted as saying by the Indian Express. “SP will support Meira Kumar in the presidential elections,” SP chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary had said. Meanwhile, another Uttar Pradesh bigwig, BSP supremo Mayawati expressed her satisfaction that Dalit community member will fill in the seat of country’s president.
Earlier, it was reported that JDU an opposition party currently ruling in Bihar may also choose to vote for Ram Nath Kovind. “Winning or losing (a poll) is a different issue. Whoever wins, the good thing is a Scheduled Caste person will be the country’s president. And I think it is a good thing for our movement, the party,” she said. “And the NDA, the BJP had to field a Dalit candidate for the presidential poll because of the BSP and the other side (the opposition) too,” she told reporters outside Parliament. The voting for the crucial presidential poll began at 10 AM and will continue till 5 PM. The results of the poll will be declared on July 20.