Chennai: NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind went around the city on Saturday seeking the support of AIADMK groups and other parties.
While the AIADMK (Amma) group under Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami including the T. T. V. Dhinakaran supporters pledged their support to Mr Kovind, the AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma group led by former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam extended “unconditional support” to him.
Mr Kovind who was on a whistle stop tour first met Puducherry legislators and the lone Lok Sabha member from the Union Territory, who assured support for his candidature. All India N R Congress chief N. Rangasamy and his party legislators met Kovind at a hotel here. Puducherry’s lone Lok Sabha MP R. Radhakrishnan, who belongs to the main opposition party in the Assembly (AINRC), was also present.
Also, BJP’s lone legislator from Kerala and veteran party leader O. Rajagopal took part in the meeting to garner support for Kovind, 71, who arrived here this morning from New Delhi as part of his nation-wide campaign. He was accorded a warm reception by Tamil Nadu BJP leaders under Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan at the airport here. He later drove to a city hotel where he met the legislators.
The NDA Presidential nominee met Mr Panneerselvam and his supporters and canvassed for votes. Mr Panneerselvam presented Mr. Kovind a bouquet and shawl and welcomed him.
Later, talking to reporters Mr Panneerselvam said his party MPs and legislators have unanimously agreed to support the candidature of Mr Ram Nath Kovind for the top constitutional post. "We extend our unconditional support to the NDA's Presidential candidate," Mr Panneerselvam declared.
At the Kalaivanar auditorium here in the evening, Chief Minister K Palaniswami, who is the AIADMK headquarters secretary, received the Presidential candidate with a bouquet and a shawl. About 122 legislators who had voted for Mr. Palaniswami during the trust vote and 31 MPs were present on the occasion.
"He thanked us for taking the decision to support him. The Presidential candidate also expressed that he was sad in the passing away of late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa who rose to national stature," Cooperation Minister Sellur K. Raju said.