Ram Nath Kovind Presidential election 2017: In a significant booster shot for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in its effort to get its own candidate elected as the next President of India, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced his party, Biju Janata Dal (BJD), support for him. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah had earlier today announced the candidature of Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as the NDA pick for the high post.
Naveen Patnaik was quoted by ANI as saying,”BJD has decided to support the candidature of Ram Nath Govind.” He asserted the fact that the decision of electing the President of the nation is above politics. He said, “Office of President of India is above political considerations and Biju Janata Dal wants to keep it above politics.” Elaborating the reasons behind BJD’s support to the NDA candidate, Patnaik said Ram Nath Kovind is an eminent lawyer belonging to the scheduled caste community. He further added, “As you know, the last time when presidential elections were held, BJD had proposed the name of PA Sangma, an eminent leader from the tribal community. Based on the request of BJD, many parties including the BJP had supported his nomination.”
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Earlier in the day, BJP president Amit Shah took everyone by surprise when he announced the name of the NDA alliance candidate. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had also appealed to all political parties of the state to rise above politics and support the decision taken by NDA. CM Yogi Adityanath was quoted by PTI as saying, “I appeal to all political parties of UP to support son of UP, Ram Nath Kovind for president, rising above politics.”
Meanwhile, Amit Shah said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already spoken to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over this. Gandhi has assured that a decision would be taken after thorough discussions, he added.
Out of the 21 Lok Sabha MPs from Odisha, 20 belong to the BJD. The party has eight members in the Rajya Sabha, besides the support of an independent MP, and 117 MLAs in the state assembly.