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Sena announces support to Kovind

28 June 2017

The AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) led by former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam on Thursday chose to support the NDA nominee for Presidential polls, Ram Nath Kovind.

BJP's National Vice President Shyam Jaju told ANI that "today the Opposition seems a divided house as many opposition parties have extended support to Ram Nath Kovind". "BJP National President Amit Shah spoke to me and requested for our support". "JD-U has made a decision to support Kovind in the presidential election". Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray said he is not willing to support Kovind if making a Dalit the President is being done with the objective of "gaining a vote bank".

The Purtchi Thalaivi Amma faction's announcement comes a day after the AIADMK (Amma) camp led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami announced its support to Kovind.

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Kumar said on Tuesday that he has called a meeting of the party's leader to finalize on the choice of Kovind.

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

"There should be no talk about whether a Dalit should be there (be a President)... caste or religion". If sources are to be believed, DMK's M Kanimozhi has made a round of phone calls to senior leaders across parties, saying it will be hard for the DMK to oppose a Dalit. While it is the right-leaning Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which chose Kovind, Narayanan, a diplomat-turned politician, became vice president in 1992 and the president in 1997 courtesy active support from the Left, which had proposed his name first.

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Panneerselvan said his party is supporting Kovind, a Dalit, so that a member of the oppressed group gets an "opportunity" to be elected to the highest office in the country.

The Left parties, which were earlier garnering support for former West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, are slated to meet on the morning of June 22.

Amid this, speculations are rife that the opposition is likely to nominate former LS speaker Meira Kumar and BR Ambedkar's grandson Prakash Ambedkar as their presidential candidate. The election will be held on July 17.

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Sena announces support to Kovind