JD(U) firm on supporting NDA even as Oppn. pits Meira against Kovind

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi [India], June 22 (ANI): After the Opposition named former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar as its Presidential nominee, the Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) on Thursday remained firm on its previous stand of supporting NDA's presidential candidate Ramnath Kovind. "We decided to extend our support to Kovind and our decision will not change. We took everything into consideration. We can't change our decision every other second," JD(U) leader K.C. Tyagi told ANI. Tyagi earlier in the day asserted that his party supported Kovind because he has proven his calibre at all levels. "Ramnath Kovind's tenure in Bihar has been laudable. He has always performed his constitutional duties wonderfully. And as a governor, he has conducted himself very well and executed his duties with finesse," said Tyagi. The JD(U) had earlier decided to support Presidential Kovind and skip the Opposition meeting which was held on Thursday. The party also downplayed the reports of it opting out of the grand alliance and said that that favouring Kovind is the single incident where the party has supported the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said that he would appeal to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to rethink over his decision of supporting Kovind. Lalu also refuted the speculations of calling off alliance with the JD(U) and said, "I will meet Nitish Kumar tomorrow. Though it is his personal opinion, but we will appeal him to rethink. This is no matter of betrayal, but we will not break alliance. He should not do a historical mistake. His decision of supporting Ramnath Kovind is wrong." Congress leader Sonia Gandhi has named former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar as the Opposition's Presidential nominee. All 17 political parties have unanimously proposed name of Meira for forthcoming Presidential elections which is to be held on July 17. The election for the next President of India is to be held on July 17. President Pranab Mukherjee will demit office on July 24. (ANI)