Culture

AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) to support NDA in Prez poll

Earlier in the day, JDU leader KC Tyagi on the behalf of the party said, "We made a decision to extend support to NDA's presidential candidate #RamNathKovind as his tenure as Governor had been peaceful".

He also lauded the NDA government for reaching out to all Opposition political parties for a consensus over the Presidential candidate despite having sufficient votes to get its candidate elected.

NDA's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind will file his nomination papers for the July 17 presidential election on Friday in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and Chief Ministers of NDA-ruled states.

The opposition parties have, however, been left hurt by JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar's decision to support the candidature of Kovind, with whom he shared a great personal rapport.

"Today in the opposition parties meeting which shall be chaired by Congress President Sonia Gandhi these issues (Presidential candidate) would be discussed", Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge said.

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Later, Naidu also spoke to Nitish Kumar and thanked him for the decision. The NDTV news channel reported that the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) too is likely to ditch the Opposition for the NDA candidate.

Shiv Sena and the People's Democratic Party, both NDA constituents, too, have pledged support to Kovind.

Earlier on June 19, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that a thorough discussion will be held on the matter within the JD (U). The TRS chief and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao will also be present. The parties are now learnt to be veering towards fielding a strong Dalit candidate of their own to take on BJP's Kovind.

CPI leader D. Raja acknowledged that the JD-U move, if correct, was a setback to the opposition. President Pranab Mukherjee will demit office on July 24. He communicated with the regional parties seeking their support for the NDA's nominee during the upcoming presidential election,"said Sarma, who heads the Neda, a vital alliance of non-Congress parties of the northeast".

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