Meira Kumar calls for conscience President vote

Ram Nath Kovind

"We have approached them and are expecting that they will vote for Kovind", a BJP leader said. Kovind, who is embarking on two days visit to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karanataka, will also be extensively campaigning in the Northeast from July 6-7.

In what only seems to be a major success to BJP in the state, six MLAs from Trinamool Congress including Sudip Roy Barman have said that they wouldn't vote for opposition Presidential candidate Meira Kumar, the same of which did not go down well with the party bigwigs. "Before announcing the name, Modi spoke to [Congress chief] Sonia Gandhi, I spoke to [CPI (M) General Secretary] Sitaram Yechury, and [BJP President] Amit Shah, to other leaders and thereafter put out the name". "I can also assure you that I will always strive for all-round development of the nation, irrespective of caste, creed, language, region, geographical situations", he said. Along with Union Ministers M Venkaiah Naidu and Bandaru Dattatreya, Kovind was felicitated by KCR at a combined meeting of the TRS and the BJP.

The BJP and TRS meeting at Jalavihar hinted towards their growing bond.

Kovind thanked Rao for putting up hoardings in the city in his honour and also for speaking in Hindi in the meeting.

The SP, which has 54 MLAs in the 403-member UP Assembly, has five Lok Sabha MPs and 18 in the Rajya Sabha.

Meanwhile, Kumar came to Kolkata on Sunday night. Kovind also met the MLAs and MPs of the YSR Congress, the opposition in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, which supported his candidature. "I had already extended my support to the NDA candidate", he said. However, the Congress may lose the precious vote of one suspended Congress legislator P.N. Syiem during the presidential poll.

'We have decided not to vote for Meira Kumar as she is the Congress candidate enjoying support from the CPM.

With a majority of votes firmly behind him, Kovind's election as the next president is virtually guaranteed and the saffron party is now working overtime to win over independents, smaller parties and fence-sitters to increase his lead over Meira Kumar, the opposition's candidate.

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