NDA’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind today interacted with the MPs and MLAs of the BJP, the TRS, the TDP and the YSR Congress here today, seeking their support for his candidature in the July 17 polls. Accompanied by Union ministers M Venkaiah Naidu and Bandaru Dattatreya, he first met the MLAs and MPs of the BJP and the Telangana unit of the TDP. “He (Kovind) said he has come to meet the leaders of parties supporting his candidature. He sought our cooperation,” TDP Rajya Sabha member from Telangana, Garikapati Mohan Rao, told reporters after the interaction. “The TDP is a partner in the central government and our party supremo N Chandrababu Naidu had already declared support to his candidature. So, it (Kovind’s victory) is our responsibility,” he said. Venkaiah Naidu and BJP general secretary Muralidhar Rao explained the voting system in the meeting, he said. The TDP has three MLAs and two Rajya Sabha members in Telangana. Lok Sabha member Malla Reddy, who was elected on a TDP ticket, has since switched loyalty to the TRS.
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Telangana BJP president K Laxman alleged that the Congress and the Left fielded a candidate (Meira Kumar) only to “show their existence”. He alleged that the Congress had a history of defeating iconic leaders like B R Ambedkar and Kumar’s father Babu Jagjivan Ram on different occasions. Kovind also met the MLAs and MPs of the YSR Congress, the opposition in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, which supported his candidature. The NDA nominee also met TRS president and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and the MPs and MLAs of the party.