Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader O Panneerselvam has extended its support to the candidature of Ram Nath Kovind for the top constitutional post. The AIADMK leader met former Bihar Governor and now Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led-NDA government’s presidential pick Ram Nath Kovind in Chennai on Saturday. In the meeting, Panneerselvam gave a warm reception to Kovind offered a stole and bouquet to welcome him. After the meeting, he announced his support to the NDA’s presidential nominee while talking to media, reports news agency ANI. Ram Nath Kovind was in Tamil Nadu on Saturday where he met Puducherry legislators and the lone Lok Sabha MP R Radhakrishnan from the Union Territory, who assured support for his candidature, reports news agency PTI. According to the report, Kovind met the Puducherry-based All India NR Congress chief N Rangasamy and his party legislators along with Radhakrishnan in a hotel.
The term of President Pranab Mukherjee ends on July 24. Before this the poll to be held on July 17 to elect the new President of the country. Therefore, BJP national president Amit Shah on June 19 announced the name of Kovind as NDA candidate for Presidential election. Days after the announcement, UPA (Congress with 16 opposition parties) has picked former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as their candidate for the presidential post against Kovind. However, after the announcements of the names of the two candidates, the political partie have been divided into two parts based on their supports to one of them.
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Earlier in the day, Arvind Kejriwal led-Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) reportedly extended its support to Opposition candidate Meira Kumar in the Presidential polls. As per an ANI report, Kumar had called up Kejriwal herself two days to gain support from his party. The former Lok Sabha Speaker has also asserted that she is not a “scapegoat” in the upcoming election and called herself a “fighter”. The PTI reported Kumar saying that she is fighting for an ideology. Her statement came a day after Union minister and Republican Party of India (RPI) leader Ramdas Athawale said that the Congress is using Kumar as a “scapegoat” by fielding her as the opposition candidate in the poll.