The NDA's Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind was in Bengaluru on Wednesday to meet legislators and seek their support. While all MLAs and MPs of the BJP are naturally backing him, one legislator from BSR Congress and two independent law makers have also extended support to Ram Nath Kovind.
Kovind who addressed legislators in a closed door meeting is said to have sought their support in the July 17 elections to choose the next President of India. "Everyone who was here today already knows that their support is for Ram Nath Kovindji. Apart from BJP legislators, three other law makers have also pledged their support. We already have the numbers. He informed us of the procedure to cast votes in the elections and reiterated that unity was key," said a legislator who was part of the meeting. BSR Congress' Sriramulu, independents Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Nagesh have pledged their support to Ram Nath Kovind.
While denying that the President of India election had become a battle of Dalits, BJP maintained that Kovind as a person had the legislators' backing. Slamming the Congress for calling it a fight of ideology, the BJP alleged that Congress was only attempting to polarise votes by such comments. "The president of India is not bound by any party, group or religion, he is the President of the entire country. Meira Kumar's statement of it being an ideological fight is a result of frustration in an attempt to polarise secular votes," said BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje.
The BJP accused the Congress of fielding Kumar only to check Kovind, another Dalit from becoming the President. "Presidential election is not a Dalit v/s Dalit flight. What stopped the Congress from making Meira Kumar the President last time? They chose Pranab Mukherjee as the president only because they did not want him to become the Prime Minister. The Congress has previously ditched Meira Kumar and now she has been made the candidate only to check a Dalit candidate of the NDA," Karandlaje added.
Kovind arrived at Bengaluru's HAL airport and was received by state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa and central minister D V Sadananda Gowda, Anant Kumar and former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar.