JDU's support for Kovind speaks of his acceptability among non-NDA parties: Naidu

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi [India], June 21 (ANI): Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday said that the fact that the opposition Janata Dal (United) has extended support to Ram Nath Kovind for the post of president, speaks volumes about his acceptability among non-NDA parties. Naidu told ANI, "I welcome Janata Dal (United) (JDU) president Nitish Kumar's announcement of support to Ram Nath Kovind who has been nominated as NDA's presidential candidate. The JD-U's support to Kovind clearly speaks of his wider acceptability among non-NDA parties. This was the intent of wider consultations with opposition parties. I thank Nitish Kumar for his party's support. I also appeal to other parties to support Kovind". Later, Naidu also spoke to Nitish Kumar and thanked him for the decision. Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said that his party will wait till June 22 before making a final decision. "We will take our decision on June 22. We will go by whatever is decided in the meet tomorrow," Prasad said. Earlier in the day, dealing a major blow to the RJD, the JD (U) confirmed that they will support Kovind. "All the leaders have decided that we will support Ram Nath Kovind for the post of president. He is Bihar's first Governor who has been nominated for this post. We are very happy with this, it is a matter of Bihar's development," Senior JD (U) leader Ratnesh Sada said after meeting all party leaders here. The opposition will meet on Thursday to decide on whether to support Kovind's candidature, or put up a contestant for the July 17 elections. Earlier on June 19, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that a thorough discussion will be held on the matter within the JD (U). JD (U) has been a part of the opposition's joint initiative on the presidential elections. The opposition is against Kovind's name being finalised for the post of president on grounds that they were not consulted prior to the announcement. 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)