Presidential Election 2017: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has asked all senior party leaders including Cabinet ministers and Chief Ministers of all states ruled by the party to be present in Delhi when Ram Nath Kovind files his nomination papers on Friday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party veterans will also be present to extend their support to Kovind when he files his nomination papers for the Presidential elections. A BJP source has told the Indian Express that even though the opposition parties have not declared a candidate for the race to Raisina Hill, a contest is imminent, according to an Indian Express report.
But not just its own men, BJP is also looking to get allies to be present on the big day. Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday requested the Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Edappadi K Palaniswami to be present to show their support for Kovind on Friday when Kovind files his nomination. Sources within the BJP have told the Indian Express that Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has said that he will pe present for Kovind’s nomination, as per an Indian Express report. PDP’s head and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has also extended support for Kovind, Indian Express has reported.
Naidu, according to the Indian Express, has extended the party’s outreach to parties not allied to it such as HD Deve Gowda-led JD(S), DMK and PMK which is led by Anbumani Ramadoss. Naidu also met INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala, sources say Chautala has responded positively to Naidu, according to the Indian Express.
BSP supremo Mayawati has said that her party has taken a positive stand on Ram Nath Kovind’s nomination for the post of the President. Mayawati went on to add that she would support the opposition’s candidate if they field a more popular Dalit candidate. She also added that it would have been better if BJP chose a non-political Dalit person for the post of the President, according to the Indian Express.
According to a CNN-News18 report, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has also backed Ram Nath Kovind today.