NDA’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind will seek support from the ruling bloc’s MPs and legislators from Uttar Pradesh tomorrow and speak to their Uttarakhand counterparts in Dehradun on Monday as he begins a nationwide tour. BJP General Secretary Bhupender Yadav, who is also Kovind’s authorised representative for the presidential poll, said that Kovind will seek support from members of the president’s electoral college.
He will start from Uttar Pradesh, which is also the 71-year-old Dalit leader’s home state. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath will receive him at the airport and the meeting with the NDA members will take place at Adityanath’s official residence in Lucknow, Yadav said.
Yadav, besides Union minister Nitin Gadkari and two members of Parliament will accompany Kovind during the Lucknow leg of the tour.
During his interaction with the BJP-led NDA MPs and MLAs in Dehradun on Monday, Kovind will be joined by Union minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot and Anil Baluni, who is the BJP’s media head and belongs to the hill state, besides two other MPs.
BJP sources said a Union minister, a senior organisation leader from the party and two MPs will accompany Kovind during his nationwide tour to reach out to all members of the electoral college.
Though his meeting will be with the supporting MPs and MLAs, Kovind will make an appeal to all the members of the electoral college in every state to support his candidature.
The opposition parties have fielded Meira Kumar, also a Dalit leader, against Kovind. With over 62 per cent of votes firmly behind him, Kovind’s election as the next president is almost certain. Besides the BJP and its NDA allies, parties like the TRS, the YSRCP, the AIADMK, the BJD and the JD(U) have announced their support to him.
The presidential election is scheduled for July 17 and the counting of votes will take place on July 20. Kovind, if elected, will be the second dalit to occupy the highest constitutional office. The first was K R Narayanan, who was in the Rashtrapati Bhavan in 1997-2002.