Palaniswami faction backs NDA nominee

AIADMK (Amma) backs NDA nominee for President: THE AIADMK (Amma), led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami, on Wednesday announced its support to NDA’s Presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind.The BJP Monday named 71-year-old Ram Nath Kovind as party-led National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) choice for the country’s next president.In a big blow to the Opposition, the JD-U on Wednesday made a decision to back the NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind for President post.Palaniswami said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had requested the party’s support for Kovind over phone and the decision was taken after consulting the party legislators and ministers. The decision was taken in the party meeting which was called by him on Wednesday.The election for the next President of India is to be held on July 17 as President Pranab Mukherjee will demit the office on July 25.The Opposition parties will meet at the Parliament library on Thursday around 4.30 pm to deliberate on Kovind’s candidature and, possibly, pick a consensus candidate.Party functionaries say Kovind’s down-to-earth image among peers and the public has made him a formidable personality.Former Lok Sabha Meira Kumar has been named as the Presidential candidate of the opposition. “We fully support Kovind”.An “opportunity” has been provided for a member of the Dalit community to be elected to the Presidents office, and “for providing that opportunity (to Kovind), we have chose to support him”, Panneerselvam added.The chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana are expected to be present when NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind files his nomination papers on Friday.Keshari Nath Tripathi, Governor of West Bengal, has been appointed as the new Bihar Governor.CPI leader D. Raja acknowledged that the JD-U move, if correct, was a setback to the opposition.”Earlier in the opposition parties’ meeting, JD-U leader Sharad Yadav had advised not to decide on the Presidential candidate in hurry”, he added.