TRS, TDP back BJP’s nom­i­nee, Cong sulks

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Front Page - HT Cor­re­spon­dent letters@hindustantimes.com

A clutch of re­gional par­ties from south­ern In­dia backed Bi­har gov­er­nor Ram Nath Kovind for In­dia’s next Pres­i­dent on Mon­day as the Congress ex­pressed its dis­ap­point­ment at not be­ing con­sulted be­fore the Dalit leader’s name was fi­nalised.

Min­utes af­ter the 71-year-old for­mer Ra­jya Sabha MP’s can­di­da­ture was an­nounced by BJP chief Amit Shah, the Te­lan­gana Rash­tra Samiti sup­ported Kovind. The party has 11 seats in the Lok Sabha, three in the Ra­jya Sabha and 63 in the state assem­bly. “Hon’ble PM @naren­dramodi Ji has tele­phoned Hon’ble CM KCR seek­ing sup­port for Sri Ram­nath Kovind Ji as Pres­i­dent. CM has agreed to sup­port,” chief min­is­ter K Chan­drasekhar Rao’s of­fice tweeted.

The AIADMK (Amma) that is rul­ing Tamil Nadu was also likely to vote for Kovind, if pres­i­den­tial elec­tions are held on July 17.

“Even Amma would have sup­ported the BJP and so will we,” said Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Tham­bidu­rai, who is with chief min­is­ter Eda­paddi Palaniswami’s fac­tion. Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi has spo­ken to the Tamil Nadu CM, who com­mands the sup­port of 36 MPs in the Lok Sabha, 10 in the Ra­jya Sabha and 122 MLAs in the assem­bly. Another fac­tion of the AIADMK – AIADMK (Pu­ratchi Tha­laivi Amma) – also in­di­cated it will also back the BJP’s choice.

The Tel­ugu De­sam Party of Andhra Pradesh – an ally of the NDA – also pledged its sup­port for the Dalit leader.

But the Congress, ap­peared dis­pleased with the govern­ment’s an­nounce­ment and said it would take a fi­nal de­ci­sion at a sched­uled meet­ing on June 22.

“We ex­pected that to evolve con­sen­sus, the govern­ment will dis­cuss a few can­di­dates…the govern­ment only in­formed us about the de­ci­sion once it was made…we didn’t ex­pect this,” Congress leader Ghu­lam Nabi Azad said.

Unim­pressed by the NDA’s choice of the Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, the Left par­ties want the Op­po­si­tion to fight the Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion against NDA’s nom­i­nee Ram Nath Kovind.

“There will be a con­test,” CPI(M) gen­eral sec­re­tary Si­taram Yechury told Hin­dus­tan Times.

HT FILE

BJP’s nom­i­nee Ram Nath Kovind is the in­cum­bent gov­er­nor of Bi­har.

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