NDA PRESIDENTIAL candidate Ram Nath Kovind’s filing of nomination on June 23 is set to be a show of strength for the BJP as its leadership has urged all the chief ministers of party-ruled states and those who have extended support to Kovind to be present on the occasion.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Cabinet ministers and BJP veterans also would stand together with Kovind when he files nomination for the July 17 presidential election. Although the Opposition has not announced its candidate, a contest is imminent, BJP sources said.
Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday requested Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to be present during the filing of nomination. Patnaik has agreed to be present, BJP sources said. BJD has backed Kovind as the Presidential candidate.
Kovind, a Dalit leader from Uttar Pradesh, resigned as Bihar governor on Tuesday.
PDP chief and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also assured him of support.
Continuing the party’s efforts to garner support for Kovind, Naidu spoke to former Prime Minister and JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda, DMK leader M K Stalin and PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss. Gowda said party leader H D Kumaraswamy was away on a tour and on his return, the matter will be discussed. Stalin and Ramadoss said the issue will be discussed among the party leaders.
Naidu also met Om Prakash Chautala of INLD and he has responded positively, sources said.