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


National Democratic Alliance (NDA) presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday met well wishers of former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee after meeting the ailing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran.

Asked whether the party would support Kovind, he had said "That also will be decided by (party) general secretary".

NDA's presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind has been given 'Z+' and NSG security cover by the central government.

OPS has the support of 12 MLAs and 12 MPs after he revolted against AIADMK (Amma) general secretary V K Sasikala Panneerselvam said his faction had made a decision to endorse the NDA nominee since he had a vast experience as a two-time MP and later as governor of Bihar.

Prime Minister Modi also spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E. Palaniswamy over NDA's presidential candidate pick.

Meanwhile, a JD (U) leader said its move backing Kovind was a "one-time, isolated case", maintaining that opposition unity was intact on other issues.

Another non-NDA party, Jagan Mohan Reddy led YSR Congress Party has given thumbs-up to Kovind. "In fact, we are neither a slave to anyone nor a boss to anybody", he added.

The opposition has alleged that the NDA finalised Kovind's name for the post of President without consulting them prior to the announcement.

Despite wide consensus on the candidature of Kovind as next President, the Opposition, especially the Left parties, are eager to put up their own candidate against him in an "ideological battle".

Rao too offered his support after holding consultations with his party colleagues.

JD-U leader Sharad Yadav was also a member of the sub-committee formed by opposition parties to decide the presidential candidate.

"Ramnath Kovind is best fit for the job and we have supported him based on his credentials", Panneerselvam said. "But, JD (U) and its national president Nitish Kumar will continue to make his efforts for the opposition's unity".



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