For Presidential Polls, Chandrababu Naidu Gets A Tricky Task From PM Modi

PM Narendra Modi has asked Chandrababu Naidu to speak to Mamata Banerjee, who is currently in The Netherlands

For Presidential Polls, Chandrababu Naidu Gets A Tricky Task From PM Modi

BJP has picked Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as the presidential candidate.

Story Highlights
  • Mamata Banerjee has gone to The Hague on a 3-day trip
  • Her party said it would decide on support once NDA names candidate
  • Chandrababu Naidu has praised PM Modi's choice for President
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today dialed Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu to formally seek support for Ramnath Kovind, who has been chosen he presidential candidate of the NDA. He also asked Mr Naidu to help reach out to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the issue.  

Ms Banerjee -- who left this morning for a three-day trip to The Hague, the Netherlands - is one of the opposition leaders who said they could not commit to support the NDA candidate without knowing who it would be.

Soon after the announcement, senior Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien tweeted:
While announcing Mr Kovind's selection, the BJP had said Union Minister Arun Jaitley, who had earlier spoken to the Trinamool chief, will get in touch with her again.

Mr Naidu is among the handful of parties from the South which had committed to support the NDA candidate. Besides Mr Naidu's TDP, Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK and Telangana's ruling TRS had agreed to support PM Modi's choice.

The BJP is also seen as expecting support from Bihar - both from Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United and Lalu Yadav's RJD. Both parties are pro-Dalit and backward castes. Mr Kovind, who is currently the Bihar Governor, belongs to the Dalit community.

After the Bihar Governor was picked for the top job at a meeting of the parliamentary party - the BJP's top decision making body - the Prime Minister has spoken to a number of opposition leaders. Among them were Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.  

Mr Naidu's office said he praised PM Modi's choice. Mr Kovind, he said, is an "intellectual from the Dalit community and deserves the position of president".
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