NDA Presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind called Gujarat his ‘second home’ while addressing party workers on his arrival in the city on Saturday. Kovind later visited Gandhinagar along with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and central leaders. The reception was scaled down since BJP national president Amit Shah, who was previously scheduled to accompany Kovind, could not join him.
Kovind, while recalling his association of 30 to 35 years with Gujarat said, “In our life we have two homes – one, our birth place and the other, our work place – while Uttar Pradesh is my birth place, where I went first after being nominated to seek blessings from motherland; Gujarat is the 25th state that I have visited.” He recalled his frequent visits to Surat and Navsari districts for social service engagements and his tenure as private secretary to the late Prime Minister Morarji Desai in 1977.
“Gujarat is the state that has given two Prime Ministers, Morarji Desai and Narendra Modi,” he said and added that he had worked with both. Kovind added that he was blessed to visit Gujarat, the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel. After a welcome by the members of Koli community from different regions of Gujarat, state BJP president Jitu Vaghani welcomed him saying, “I welcome Kovindji not as NDA Presidential nominee but future President of India.”
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy CM Nitin Patel, Union minister Nitin Gadkari, BJP national leader Kailash Vijayvargiya, former Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and Ahmedabad Mayor Gautam Shah were also present at the reception.
Congress calls meeting of MLAs Congress has called a meeting of all of its 57 MLAs on Sunday to discuss the polling for Presidential elections on July 17. The opposition led by Congress has fielded former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar against NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind.