Prez Polls: Kovind meets Advani and Joshi as BJP attempts impressive victory

Prez Polls: Kovind meets Advani and Joshi as BJP attempts impressive victory
NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday met senior BJP leaders LK Advani and MM Joshi to win their support ahead of the presidential poll on July 17.

Accompanied with BJP leaders Ram Lal and Bhupendra Yadav, Kovind drove down to meet Murli Manohar Joshi at his residence early in the day. Former party president and union minister Joshi, whose name was doing the rounds for the constitutional seat, greeted him for becoming becoming the presidential candidate of the ruling coalition.

Towards evening, he also met former deputy prime minister LK Advani who conveyed his best wishes to the former Bihar governor. Picking up Kovind for the race to Rashtrapati Bhavan was not only a surprise to the opposition, it was also to both the leaders of the BJP's margdarshak mandal. They too were informed of the party's decision after the BJP parliamentary board gave it's nod on Monday. Among top contenders for President's post who missed the bus was Kaptan Singh Solanki -- presently governor of Haryana.

In the run up to the election, Kovind is reaching out to leaders of his own party and to that of opposition as the BJP is cobbling up numbers beyond victory margin to surpass 7,13,763 votes Pranab Mukherjee had got in last 2012 election to become President of India. In the electoral college having 10,98,903 votes, NDA has got 5,37,683 votes. The shortfall is about 12000 votes. The BJP floor managers are working to achieve that target since five opposition parties -- JDU, BJD, AIADMK, TRS and YSR Congress -- have come out in favour of the NDA nominee. Other than that, the Dalit leader has emerged as the unanimous choice of the NDA after mercurial Shiv Sena backing him.

A visibly relaxed Kovind, 71, joined the International Yoga Day celebrations in the national capital. RSS sources, meanwhile, said no internal discussions have taken place so far on shortlisting a candidate for election to the post of vice president which will take place in first week of August.


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