Prez polls: OPS faction to support NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind

Joanna Estrada
June 24, 2017

The AIADMK's rebel faction led by former Chief Minister O Pannerselvam today made a decision to back NDA's Ram Nath Kovind for the July 17 presidential poll.

The decision was announced here by Chief Minister K Palaniswami. "But wherever we don't agree with the BJP, we will oppose them", the Sena leader said.

Besides the NDA's constituents, which comprise over 48.6% of votes in the electoral college that will elect the next president, regional parties such as the AIADMK, BJD, TRS and JD (U) have announced their support to the Dalit leader, making his win an nearly foregone conclusion.

They also claimed that the BJP fielding Kovind has "not hurt" the unity among the 17 opposition parties. After meeting Ram Nath, Nitish said that he is happy because a governor from Bihar has been nominated as President candidate.

At the last hour of yesterday Biju Janata Dal, the formation that governs in the Eastern state of Odisha joined that nomination and contributes with 2.99 percent of votes, with which the total increases to 60.84. The term of President Pranab Mukherjee ends on 24 July.

"We will support Ram Nath Kovind but we do not want any kind of politics on it".

The Left party will discuss the issue wihin itself before Opposition leaders meet on June 22, the sources added.

The BJP is on track to get the numbers it needs to get its Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind elected, rendering the Opposition's hunt to find a rival candidate largely moot. "The party's decision to support NDA nominee should be seen in isolation".

Soon after the BJP announced Kovind's name as its candidate for the 17 July presidential election, Naidu's Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi offered their support.

Meira Kumar, former Lok Sabha Speaker and daughter of veteran Dalit leader Babu Jagjivan Ram, will be joint opposition candidate for the country's next president, it was decided at a meeting chaired by Congress President Sonia Gandhi Thursday afternoon.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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