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Andhra Pradesh: Kovind to meet BJP, Telugu Desam MPs, MLAs tomorrow

Even though party supremo Mamata Banerjee has voiced her support to opposition’s presidential nominee Meira Kumar, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) legislators in Tripura have chose to vote for NDA candidate Ramnath Kovind on July 17.”We are expecting support from six Trinamool Congress MLAs in Tripura, two Congress MLAs from the State and substantial support from 15 independent MLAs in Meghalaya apart from Conrad Sangma’s National People’s Party (NPP)”, the source added.Following the visit of Kumar, Kovind will be in Hyderabad on Tuesday.”We have held a meeting here on Saturday night and decided not to cast our votes in favour of Congress-led opposition-backed presidential candidate Meira Kumar since she is also supported by the CPI-M”, Tripura TMC President Ashish Saha told IANS.The task of drumming up support for Mr. Kovind has fallen on Assam Finance Minister and convenor of the northeast chapter of the NDA, the North East Democratic Alliance – Himanta Biswa Sarma.For the objective, Kovind will, on July 6, travel to Assam with Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, and spend the next two days in neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh.Kovind already has the support of 207 out of the 211 MPs and MLAs from Andhra Pradesh. BJP is also in touch with several Independent MPs from both Houses of Parliament.The Congress has been urging the TRS to reconsider its decision and vote for Meira Kumar given the role she played as then Speaker of the Lok Sabha in formation of a separate Telangana state. The MLAs while speaking to reporters on Sunday said that they were not indulging in anti-party activities since no whip was issued regarding the Presidential election.A senior BJP leader said some of the BSP MLAs could also defy party supremo Mayawati’s support for the Opposition’s candidate and instead vote for Mr Kovind.