Odisha’s ruling BJD keeps Prez polls card close to chest

Bhubaneswar: President of Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Naveen Patnaik today maintained the suspense over his party’s stance on support to the Presidential candidate even as NDA announced its nominee.

“We will clear our stand on support to NDA candidate after discussion with senior leaders. We will let you know after that,” BJD chief Naveen Patnaik told media here today.

Notably, BJP National President today announced Bihar Governor Ramnath Kovind as its candidate for next President of India.

Besides, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to several leaders including Naveen Patnaik over this, IANS reported.

Earlier in the day, Naveen had told reporters, “No one has talked to me”, on queries about Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaking to him on Presidential polls.

If elected, the 72-year-old will be the second Indian President after KR Narayanan to have come from Dalit community.

While Kovind emerged as the consensual candidate of the NDA, the name of Odisha’s BJP leader and Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu was also doing the rounds among the hot favourites including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

The election will be held on July 17.


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