14 July, Bhubaneswar
NDA’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind on Friday met the lawmakers of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Odisha and sought their support in the coming presidential poll.
After arriving here along with Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda, Kovind met BJD MPs and MLAs in presence of party President and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the conference hall of the State Assembly here.
Kovind also addressed the legislators and the MPs. He then headed towards Patnaik’s residence, where he had lunch.
“I am happy to be here and grateful for the full-fledged support of the BJD to my presidential candidature,” Kovind told reporters here.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reaffirmed that the BJD MPs and MLAs would support Kovind.
“We are privileged to support the candidature of Kovind-ji for the President of India. The MPs and MLAs of BJD will cast their votes on July 17 in support of Shri Kovind,” said Patnaik.
Responding to a query on chances of cross-voting, the Chief Minister said: “I don’t think that will happen at all.”
Later, the NDA presidential candidate met BJP MLAs at BJP legislature party leader K.V. Singh Deo’s residence. He sought the support of the BJP lawmakers.
The ruling BJD has 117 MLAs in the state and 28 MPs. Besides, one independent MP supports BJD. BJP has 10 MLAs and one MP, Jual Oram, from Odisha.
Earlier in the day, Kovind reached Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here in a special aircraft around 11.30 a.m. He was warmly received by BJD and BJP leaders.
Meanwhile, opposition presidential candidate Meira Kumar is scheduled to arrive in Odisha on Saturday. She will interact with Congress MLAs and seek support for her candidature.